The Brazil Reader

History, Culture, Politics

The Brazil Reader

The Latin America Readers

More about this series

Book Pages: 544 Illustrations: 52 b&w photographs, 7 figures, 1 map Published: June 1999

Editor(s): Robert M. Levine, John Crocitti

Contributor: Amelia Simpson

General Interest > Travel, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Brazil

Bordering all but two of South America’s other nations and by far Latin America’s largest country, Brazil differs linguistically, historically, and culturally from Spanish America. Its indigenous peoples share the country with descendants of Portuguese conquerors and the Africans they imported to work as slaves, along with more recent immigrants from southern Europe, Japan, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Capturing the scope of this country’s rich diversity and distinction as no other book has done—with more than a hundred entries from a wealth of perspectives—The Brazil Reader offers a fascinating guide to Brazilian life, culture, and history.

Complementing traditional views with fresh ones, The Brazil Reader’s historical selections range from early colonization to the present day, with sections on imperial and republican Brazil, the days of slavery, the Vargas years, and the more recent return to democracy. They include letters, photographs, interviews, legal documents, visual art, music, poetry, fiction, reminiscences, and scholarly analyses. They also include observations by ordinary residents, both urban and rural, as well as foreign visitors and experts on Brazil. Probing beneath the surface of Brazilian reality—past and present—The Reader looks at social behavior, women’s lives, architecture, literature, sexuality, popular culture, and strategies for coping with the travails of life in a country where the affluent live in walled compounds to separate themselves from the millions of Brazilians hard-pressed to find food and shelter. Contributing to a full geographic account—from the Amazon to the Northeast and the Central-South—of this country’s singular multiplicity, many pieces have been written expressly for this volume or were translated for it, having never previously been published in English.

This second book in The Latin America Readers series will interest students, specialists, travelers for both business and leisure, and those desiring an in-depth introduction to Brazilian life and culture.


“A worthy successor to the pioneering Peru Reader, this volume provides a comprehensive guide to Brazil’s history and culture from the Portuguese colonial past to the postmodern present. Defty crossing disciplines and integrating elite and popular realms, The Brazil Reader is certain to please both the serious student and the general reader.” — Gil Joseph, Yale University

“What gives The Brazil Reader its special cachet is freshness, sensitivity, and empathy in its diversity of perspectives on twentieth-century Brazil, from the top down, from the bottom up, and from somewhere in the middle.” — Stanley J. Stein, Princeton University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Robert M. Levine is Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Miami. He has published extensively on Brazil and is former chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Brazil. His previous books include The Brazilian Photographs of Genevieve Naylor, 1940–1942, and Images of History, both also published by Duke University Press.

John J. Crocitti is Assistant Professor of History at San Diego Mesa College.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments xi

A Note on Style xiii

Introduction 1

I. Origins, Conquest, and Colonial Rule

The Origin of Fire / Cayapo Legend 16

Noble Savages / John Hemming 20

A Description of the Tupinamba / Anonymous 25

The First Wave / Warren Dean 33

Letter to Governor Tome de Sousa / Manoel da Nobrega 37

From the River of Jenero / Francisco Suares 41

The Sins of Maranhao / Antonio Vieira 43

Minas Uprising of 1720 / Anonymous 45

Smuggling in the Diamond District / George Gardner 52

Decree Elevating Brazil to a Kingdom / Joao VI 56

II. Imperial and Republican Brazil

Declaration of Brazilian Independence, 1822 / Pedro I 63

The Baron of Parnaiba / George Gardner 65

Uprising in Maranhao, 1839-1840 / Domingos Jose Goncalves de Magalhaes 69

A Paraiba Plantation, 1850-1860 / Stanley J. Stein 76

The Paraguayan War Victory Parade / Peter M. Beattie 87

A Vanishing Way of Life / Gilberto Freyre 91

A Mirror of Progress / Dain Borges 93

Drought and the Image of the Northeast / Gerald M. Greenfield 100

Dom Pedro the Magnanimous / Mary Wilhelmine Williams 104

Solemn Inaugural Session of December 24, 1900 / Congress of Engineering and Industry 107

Intellectuals at Play / Olavo Bilac Colllection 109

City of Mist / Manoel Sousa Pinto 110

The Civilist Campaign / J. R. Lobao 113

Gaucho Leaders, 1923 / Photograph 115

Factory Rules, 1924 / Abramo Eberle Metalworks Management 116

III. Slavery and Its Aftermath

The War against Palmares / Anonymous 125

Slave Life at Morro Velho Mine / Sir Richard Francis Burton 131

Scenes from the Slave Trade / Logbook Entries; Joao Dunshee de Abrantes 135

Cruelty to Slaves / Thomas Ewbank 138

Slavery and Society / Joaquim Nabuco 143

Abolition Decree, 1888 / Princess Isabel and Rodrigo Augusto da Silva 145

Laws Regulating Beggars in Minas Gerais, 1900 / Liegislature of Minas Gerais 146

IV. The Vargas Era

The Social Question / Platform of the Liberal Alliance, 1930 156

Manifesto, May 1930 / Luis Carlos Prestes 158

Heroes of the Revolution / Composite Postcard Photograph 160

The "Gold for Sao Paulo" Building, 1932 / Cristina Mehrtens 162

Where They Talk about Rosa Luxemburg / Patricia Galvao 166

Two Versions of Factory Life / Photographers Unknown 172

Seized Correspondence from Communists, 1935-1945 / Dossier 20, Police Archives 176

The Paulista Synagogue / Gustavo Barroso 182

Why the Estado Novo? / Oliveira Vianna 184

New Year's Address, 1938 / Getulio Vargas 186

Rural Life / Photographers Unknown 190

A New Survey of Brazilian Life / Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics 195

General George C. Marshall's Mission to Brazil / Katherine Tupper Marshall 197

Comments on the Estado Novo / Bailey W. Diffie 200

Educational Reform after Twenty Years / Anisio S. Teixeira 204

Ordinary People: Five Lives Affected by Vargas-Era Reforms / Apolonio de Carvalho, Geraldo Valdelirios Novais, Frederico Heller, Maurilio Thomas Ferreira, Joana de Masi Zero 206

Vargas's Suicide Letter, 1954 / Getulio Vargas 222

V. Seeking Democracy and Equity

Rehearsal for the Coup / Araken Tavora 231

The Military Regime / Antonio Pedro Tota 235

Excerpts from the 1967 Brazilian Constitution 238

Tropicalism and Brazilian Popular Music under Military Rule / Christopher Dunn 241

Literature under the Dictatorship / Elizabeth Ginway 248

Pele Speaks / Edson Arantes Nascimento da Silva 254

The Maximum Norm of the Exercise of Liberty / Grupo da Educacao Moral e Civica 258

Families of Fishermen Confront the Sharks / Paulo Lima 260

The Reality of the Brazilian Countryside / Landless Movement (MST) 264

The "Greatest Administrative Scandal" / Seth Garfield 268

Life on an Occupied Ship / Marcal Joao Scarante 274

A Letter from Brazil / Juliano Spyer 277

Inaugural Address / Fernando Henrique Cardoso 280

Fernando Henrique Cardoso: Theory and Practice / Ted G. Goertzel 289

Is Brazil Hopelessly Corrupt? / Roberto DaMatta 295

VI. Women's Lives

Aunt Zeze's Tears / Emilia Moncorva Bandeira de Mello 302

Tarsila and the 1920s / Carol Damian and Cristina Mehrtens 308

The Integral Woman / Provincia de Guanabara 317

The Children Always Had Milk / Maria Puerta Ferreira 319

Women of the Forest / Yolanda and Robert F. Murphy 323

My Life / Maria das Dores Gomes Batista 327

A Healer's Story / Maria Geralda Ferreira 331

Sonia, a Middle-Class Woman / Alison Raphael 334

Family Life in Recife / Fanny Mitchell 337

Xuxa and the Televisual Imaginary / Amelia Simpson 343

Dreams of Uneducated Women / Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy 348

VII. Race and Ethnic Relations

A Letter from Brazil, 1918 / Jose Clarana 354

Growing Up Black in Minas Gerais / Carolina Maria de Jesus 359

Exotic Peoples / Indian Protection Agency 365

Brazil: Study in Black, Brown, and Beige / Leslie B. Rout Jr. 367

Immigrant Ethnicity in Brazil / Jeffrey Lesser 374

The Myth of Racial Democracy / Abdias do Nascimento 379

The National Day against Racism / Revista MNU 382

The Church Tries to Combat Prejudice / Bernardete Toneto 384

What Color Are You? / Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics 386

Mixed Blood / Jefferson M. Fish 391

VIII. Realities

The Animal Game / Clayton S. Cooper 398

How Brazil Works / Robert M. Levine 402

Iansa Is Not Santa Barbara / Ile Axe Opo Afonja 408

Upward Mobility Is Possible / Alcides Nazario Guerreiro Bruto 411

Crab and Yoghurt / Tobias Hecht 415

Voices from the Pavement / Claudia Milito and Helio R. S. Silva 420

Pixote's Fate / Robert M. Levine 423

A Letter to President Cardoso / Caius Brandao 430

The History of the Huni Kui People / Sia Kaxinawa 432

Urban Indians / Juliano Spyer 436

Mayor Orders Billboard Shacks Destroyed / Juliana Raposo 441

Cultural Imperialism at Its Most Fashionable / Roger M. Allen 447

The Gay and Lesbian Movement in Brazil / James N. Green 454

Liberation Theology's Rise and Fall / Robin Nagle 462

IX. Saudades

Bananas Is My Business / Helena Solberg 471

The Invention of Tradition on Brazilian Radio / Bryan McCann 474

Bahia Music Story / Bill Hinchberger 483

O Axe de Zumbi / Paulo Lima and Bernadete Toneto 487

At Carnival / Pedro Ribeiro 490

Two Poets Sing the New World / Jessica Callaway 491

Two Essays on Sports / Janet Lever and Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Methy 497

Suggestions for Further Reading 505

Acknowledgment of Copyrights 511

Index 519
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2290-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2258-0
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