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The Deepest Wounds : A Labor and Environmental History of Sugar in Northeast Brazil - Thomas D. Rogers

The Deepest Wounds

A Labor and Environmental History of Sugar in Northeast Brazil

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Published: 1st November 2010
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InThe Deepest Wounds, Thomas D. Rogers traces social and environmental changes over four centuries in Pernambuco, Brazilrs"s key northeastern sugar-growing state. Focusing particularly on the period from the end of slavery in 1888 to the late twentieth century, when human impact on the environment reached critical new levels, Rogers confronts the day-to-day world of farming--the complex, fraught, and occasionally poetic business of making sugarcane grow. Renowned Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, whose home state was Pernambuco, observed, "Monoculture, slavery, and concentrated land ownership--but principally monoculture--opened here, in the life, the landscape, and the character of our people, the deepest wounds." Inspired by Freyre's insight, Rogers tells the story of Pernambucors"s wounds, describing the connections among changing agricultural technologies, landscapes and human perceptions of them, labor practices, and agricultural and economic policy. This web of interrelated factors, Rogers argues, both shaped economic progress and left extensive environmental and human damage. Combining a study of workers with analysis of their landscape, Rogers offers new interpretations of crucial moments of labor struggle, casts new light on the role of the state in agricultural change, and illuminates a legacy that influences Brazil's development even today. InThe Deepest Wounds, Thomas D. Rogers traces social and environmental changes over four centuries in Pernambuco, Brazilrs"s key northeastern sugar-growing state. Focusing particularly on the period from the end of slavery in 1888 to the late twentieth century, when human impact on the environment reached critical new levels, Rogers confronts the day-to-day world of farming--the complex, fraught, and occasionally poetic business of making sugarcane grow. Renowned Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, whose home state was Pernambuco, observed, "Monoculture, slavery, and concentrated land ownership--but principally monoculture--opened here, in the life, the landscape, and the character of our people, the deepest wounds." Inspired by Freyre's insight, Rogers tells the story of Pernambucors"s wounds, describing the connections among changing agricultural technologies, landscapes and human perceptions of them, labor practices, and agricultural and economic policy. This web of interrelated factors, Rogers argues, both shaped economic progress and left extensive environmental and human damage. Combining a study of workers with analysis of their landscape, Rogers offers new interpretations of crucial moments of labor struggle, casts new light on the role of the state in agricultural change, and illuminates a legacy that influences Brazil's development even today.

An original, comprehensive, and well-researched study that will become a lasting contribution to both the literature on Brazilian sugar and to environmental history as a whole.--Agricultural History Society


Rogers elucidates the roles of the main actors: workers, elites, and the environment itself. This fruitful approach applies beyond Brazil's regional confines. Highly recommended. Academic and larger public libraries; undergraduates and above.--Choice


This excellent and original book shows how agricultural change in Brazil's northeastern sugar industry affected social and political relationships, concepts of identity, and the environment over the course of several centuries.--H-LatAm


Artfully written. . . . Teaches us that culture and work cannot be understood without paying attention to environmental change.--Luso-Brazilian Review


An important book which will ultimately prove invaluable to environmental historians, labor historians, and all those interested in understanding the nature of Brazilian politics and society.-- Journal of NC Association of Historians


The Deepest Wounds is invaluable for understanding the environmental destruction and poverty of the region and for a demonstration of the use of landscape for establishing a larger view of the social relations.--Environment and History

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xv
Introduction: The Wounds of a People and a Landscape: Labor and Agro-Environmental Historyp. 1
The Landscape of the Zona Da Mata to the 1930s
An Eternal Verdure: The Longue Durée of the Zona da Matap. 21
A Laboring Landscape: The Environmental Discourse of the Northeast's Sugar Elite, from Nabuco to Freyrep. 45
A Landscape of Captivity: Power and the Definition of Work and Spacep. 71
Opening Up The Zona Da Mata, 1930-1963
Modernizing the Sugar Industry: Cane Expansion and the Path toward Rationalizationp. 99
The Zona da Mata Aflame: Political Upheaval, Strikes, and Firep. 125
The Dictatorship Commands The Zona Da Mata, 1964-1979
The Only Game in Town: Workers, Planters, and the Dictatorshipp. 157
An Agricultural Boom and its Unexpected Consequencesp. 179
Conclusion: Power, Labor, and the Agro-Environment of Pernambuco's Sugarcane Fieldsp. 203
Notesp. 219
Bibliographyp. 269
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780807871676
ISBN-10: 0807871672
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st November 2010
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Type: New edition