From Revolution to Power in Brazil
How Radical Leftists Embraced Capitalism and Struggled with Leadership
462 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268105853 | June 2019
eBook (PDF) | 9780268105884 | June 2019
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268105877 | June 2019
From Revolution to Power in Brazil: How Radical Leftists Embraced Capitalism and Struggled with Leadership examines terrorism from a new angle. Kenneth Serbin portrays a generation of Brazilian resistance fighters and militants struggling to rebuild their lives after suffering torture and military defeat by the harsh dictatorship that took control with the support of the United States in 1964, exiting in 1985.
Based on two decades of research and more than three hundred hours of interviews with former members of the revolutionary organization National Liberating Action, Serbin’s is the first book to bring the story of Brazil’s long night of dictatorship into the present. It explores Brazil’s status as an emerging global capitalist giant and its unique contributions and challenges in the social arena.
The book concludes with the rise of ex-militants to positions of power in a capitalist democracy—and how they confronted both old and new challenges posed by Brazilian society. Ultimately, Serbin explores the profound human questions of how to oppose dictatorship, revive politics in the wake of brutal repression, nurture democracy as a value, and command a capitalist system. This book will be of keen interest to business people, journalists, policy analysts, and readers with a general interest in Latin America and international affairs.
Kenneth P. Serbin is professor of history at the University of San Diego and author of Needs of the Heart: A Social and Cultural History of Brazil's Clergy and Seminaries (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006) and Secret Dialogues: Church-State Relations, Torture, and Social Justice in Authoritarian Brazil.
"Kenneth Serbin is one of the most eminent historians of Brazil working today. His previous books have illuminated key aspects of this country’s recent past, especially during the dark dictatorship period. This volume adds to this accumulated knowledge, by unveiling how some relevant actors in the Brazilian political arena evolved from the military to the democratic periods. Always using a fluid and gracious style and following the strictest academic precision, Serbin helps us to better understand our society and ourselves." ~Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva, Insper Institute of Education and Research
“From Revolution to Power in Brazil is an original, thoroughly researched study of the trajectory of members of the revolutionary organization National Liberating Action, who picked up arms against the military regime in the late 1960s and later reevaluated that political stance. There is a tremendous void in academic production about this period in Brazilian history, and Kenneth Serbin’s work is a welcome addition to the literature. Its strengths lie in the meticulous way that he manages to build the confidence in a wide variety of former revolutionaries, from entrepreneurs and former cabinet ministers to activists who still retain a modicum of mistrust of ‘Brazilianists’ and those from the North.” ~James N. Green, Brown University
“From Revolution to Power in Brazil provides a lavishly detailed chronicle of the guerrillas and revolutionaries who rose to the pinnacle of Brazil’s political system only to fall from grace and find their quest for power questioned by robust institutions. As Brazil grapples once again with threats to its democratic advances, this book is essential reading for understanding how political power functions in Latin America’s largest country.” ~Simon Romero, New York Times
“Using collective biography, [Serbin] tells the story of nine activists who moved into position in the political system. . . . This is a valuable study providing insight into the unique political system of present-day Brazil.” ~Choice
“This is a thorough, balanced, and beautifully written account of the trajectory of the Brazilian left over the past fifty years. This book presents a compelling account, unique in its virtues. The scholarship is outstanding. Kenneth Serbin calls on a vast compendium of secondary sources, previously untapped primary sources, and his own extensive oral histories of key figures in this process.” ~Bryan McCann, Georgetown University