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The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-1985 - Thomas E. Skidmore

The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-1985

Paperback Published: 8th March 1990
ISBN: 9780195063165
Number Of Pages: 432

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The largest and most important country in Latin America, Brazil was the first to succumb to the military coups that struck that region in the 1960s and the early 1970s. In this authoritative study, Thomas E. Skidmore, one of America's leading experts on Latin America and, in particular, on Brazil, offers the first analysis of more than two decades of military rule, from the overthrow of JoAo Goulart in 1964, to the return of democratic civilian government in 1985 with the presidency of JosA(c) Sarney.
A sequel to Skidmore's highly acclaimed Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964, this volume explores the military rule in depth. Why did the military depose Goulart? What kind of "economic miracle" did their technocrats fashion? Why did General Costa e Silva's attempts to "humanize the Revolution" fail, only to be followed by the most repressive regime of the period? What led Generals Geisel and Golbery to launch the liberalization that led to abertura? What role did the Brazilian Catholic Church, the most innovative in the Americas, play? How did the military government respond in the early 1980s to galloping inflation and an unpayable foreign debt?
Skidmore concludes by examining the early Sarney presidency and the clues it may offer for the future. Will democratic governments be able to meet the demands of urban workers and landless peasants while maintaining economic growth and international competitiveness? Can Brazil at the same time control inflation and service the largest debt in the developing world? Will its political institutions be able to represent effectively an electorate now three times larger than in 1964? What role will the military play in the future?
In recent years, many Third World nations--Argentina, the Philippines, and Uruguay, among others--have moved from repressive military regimes to democratic civilian governments. Skidmore's study provides insight into the nature of this transition in Brazil and what it may tell about the fate of democracy in the Third World.

Industry Reviews

"Politics in Brazil became an instant classic. Its detached, elegant narrative and wide array of sources on the history of twentieth-century Brazil compelled Brazilian historians, who had until then focused on the colonial era, to confront the complexities of the politically decisive republican period."--Carlos Fico, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro "Politics in Brazil has been indispensable reading for students of twentieth-century Brazil since it first appeared in 1967, and established Tom Skidmore as one of the leading authorities on contemporary Brazilian history. It has helped generations of historians and social scientists appreciate the exciting possibilities and the tragic limitations of this earlier 'experiment in democracy.'"--Barbara Weinstein, author of For Social Peace in Brazil "The most important book on the politics of modern Brazil that exists."--The Economist "A first-rate synthesis of Brazilian thought on the nature of the political and economic dilemmas that Brazil has faced over a generation."--Hispanic American Historical Review "A model of how a book on politics should be written. The story...is told with such admirable lucidity and restraint that it must give outside observers a much more complete understanding of Brazil and its politics."--Financial Times "The rise of nationalism and the role of the Jacobin Left are treated with a sympathy and understanding rare in foreign writers about Brazil."--Daily Telegraph (London) "Supported by lavish documentation from Brazilian sources, based on a solid knowledge of our intricate political flora and fauna."--Visão (Brazil) "Skidmore has written the essential book on contemporary Brazil....Skidmore delivers a remarkably comprehensive, superbly documented, balanced and judicious assessment of Brazil's two decades under military domination."--The Historian "This volume will quickly establish itself as the authoritative work in English on Brazil under military rule and on the country's gradual transition toward democracy. Assiduously researched and elegantly written, the book combines lucid analysis of economic and social trends with sound political history and balanced judgements."--Foreign Affairs "Has been acclaimed as, without a doubt, the most comprehensive study of politics in Brazil. This book, however, can also be useful in better understanding the politics of Latin America as a whole."--Journal of International Law and Politics "A major contribution to our understanding of the period. As always, Skidmore argues his case cognetly and clearly....The great value of this study is that it provides historical depth and extremely useful documentary guidance to an understanding of why, even under the 'New Republic', democratic government remains fragile and vulnerable, and why fundamentally important changes, including agrarian and fiscal reform, wer still, in 1989, neglected or resisted."--History "The most comprehensive account now in English. It will not be superseded soon."--Contemporary Sociology "Operates splendidly for several reasons. It is easily read, includes a number of political cartoons as well as pictures, and is a reasonalby balanced and objective piece."--Teaching History "There is no doubt that it will become a standard reference for those interested in Brazilian political history after 1964."--Riordan Roett, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University "Quite marvelous--far and away the best modern history of Brazil in English. It is a much needed account of the contemporary experience of this most important of the newly industrialized countries."--William D. Rogers, Arnold & Porter, Washington, DC "It will, without doubt, be as useful to students trying to understand the background to Brazil's current attempts to establish democracy as Skidmore's early work was to those trying to understand democracy's demise in '64. This book reaffirms Skidmore's position as the preeminent North American commentator on contemporary Brazilian political history."--Peter Evans, University of New Mexico "This welcome sequel to Skidmore's Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964 treats politics during the rule of an authoritarian military regime from 1964 until the reintroduction of democracy. With an engaging narrative style and careful scholarship Skidmore traces events from the overthrow of the civilian Goulart government to the more recent abertura, political opening to democracy. He describes the economic challenges, the evolution of a national policy of repression and the torture of dissidents...and soberly assesses the prospects for democracy. Highly recommended for general and academic libraries."--Library Journal "Excellent....Skidmore approaches this complex period with a tightly woven historical synthesis, a wealth of detail, and clear writing....This work is indispensable for academic libraries, a welcome addition to the contemporary literature, and necessary reading for scholars and students of Brazil."--CHOICE

The Origins of the 1964 Revolutionp. 3
Castelo Branco: Cleaning House--April 1964-March 1965p. 18
The Military Take Controlp. 18
The New Government: A UDN-Military Alliancep. 21
The Purges and the Torturep. 23
Supporters and Criticsp. 27
Economic Stabilization: A Quasi-Orthodox Approachp. 29
Wage Policyp. 33
Convincing the Foreign Lenders and Investorsp. 35
The UDN: A Viable Political Base?p. 39
Defeat at the Polls and the Hard-Line Reactionp. 42
Castelo Branco: The Attempt to Institutionalizep. 46
The Second Institutional Act and Its Political Aftermathp. 46
Sources of Oppositionp. 49
Dealing with the Successionp. 51
The UDN and Lacerda Againp. 53
The Economic Scene in 1966p. 55
National Security and a New Legal Structurep. 56
The Economic Record of the Castelo Branco Yearsp. 58
Strengthening the Market Economyp. 60
Castelo Branco's Political Legacyp. 63
Costa e Silva: The Military Tighten Their Gripp. 66
A New Castp. 66
The New Economic Strategyp. 68
Politics: Back to "Normal"?p. 71
From the Broad Front to a Challenge by Students and Workersp. 73
Arousing the Hardlinersp. 79
The Authoritarian Crackdownp. 81
The Guerrilla Emergesp. 84
The Economy: Pragmatism Pays Offp. 89
A Paralyzed President and a Succession Crisisp. 93
The U.S.: A Missing Ambassador and Some Second Thoughtsp. 101
Medici: The Authoritarian Facep. 105
The Personality, Cabinet, and Governing Style of Medicip. 105
PR in a New Veinp. 110
Medici and Electoral Politics, 1969-72p. 112
The Liquidation of the Guerrilla Threatp. 117
The Uses of Repressionp. 125
The Church: An Opposition Forcep. 135
The Economic Boom and Its Criticsp. 138
Opening the Amazon: Solution for the Northeast?p. 144
Continued Electoral Manipulation and the Choice of Geiselp. 149
Human Rights and Brazil-U.S. Relationsp. 154
Taking Stock: What Kind of Regime?p. 156
Geisel: Toward Aberturap. 160
The Return of the Castelistasp. 160
Liberalization from Within?p. 164
November 1974: An MDB Victoryp. 171
"Decompression" Under Firep. 173
New Economic Problemsp. 178
Voices from Civil Societyp. 180
Planalto Problem: How to Win Electionsp. 188
Government Response: The "April Package"p. 190
A U.S.-Brazil Rift: Nuclear Technology and Human Rightsp. 192
Geisel Subdues the Hard Linep. 197
The "New Unionism" in Actionp. 204
The Economic Record Since 1974 and Geisel's Legacyp. 206
Figueiredo: The Twilight of Military Governmentp. 210
Complexion of the New Governmentp. 211
The 1979 Strikesp. 212
Delfim Neto Againp. 215
The Amnesty Issuep. 217
Reformulating the Partiesp. 219
Another Challenge from Laborp. 222
Explosion on the Rightp. 227
The Balance of Payments: A New Vulnerabilityp. 230
The 1982 Electionsp. 233
The Economy in Deep Recessionp. 236
The Campaign for Direct Presidential Electionsp. 240
PDS Presidential Aspirantsp. 244
The Victory of the Democratic Alliancep. 250
Economic Turnaroundp. 254
The New Republic: Prospects for Democracyp. 256
How Much Did Democratization Depend on the Person of Tancredo?p. 257
How Did the Military React to Democratization?p. 267
How Did the Democratic Government Deal with the Hard Economic Choices?p. 273
The Foreign Debt: Temporary Breathing Roomp. 274
Plano Cruzado: A New Response to Inflationp. 276
Conclusionp. 283
Did Democratization Include Efforts to Create a More Equal Society?p. 283
Trends in Social and Economic Indicators Under the Authoritarian Regimep. 284
Record of the New Regimep. 288
Urban Laborp. 289
Agrarian Reformp. 298
Treatment of Prisonersp. 302
Postscript: Economic Realities and Political Falloutp. 303
Notesp. 311
Indexp. 411
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195063165
ISBN-10: 0195063163
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 8th March 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.9 x 15.47  x 2.67
Weight (kg): 0.63

Earn 155 Qantas Points
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