The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories by Emília Viotti da Costa

| /
This classic work is must reading for anyone who would understand Brazil and Latin America, past and present. First published in 1985 and now expanded to include a new chapter on women in Brazilian history, the book explores the social, political, economic, and intellectual currents that shaped nineteenth-century Brazil and whose reverberations continue to be felt throughout contemporary Brazilian society.

Placing her findings in a rich comparative context with regard to U.S. history, Emilia Viotti da Costa concentrates on crucial moments in Brazilian history to shed light on a number of vexing questions: Why in a nation so rich in material resources is there so much poverty? How was slavery abolished without bloodshed in a country where slaves had represented the main labor force for almost four hundred years? Why did self-described liberal elites twice lead the country toward authoritarian regimes? In exploring these and other puzzles, she uncovers the realities behind many of the persistent myths surrounding the Brazilian empire.

University of Chicago Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9780226856674. 287 pp.
Hardcover. Fine in a near fine jacket.