Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945

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9780822327196: Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945

In Culture Wars in Brazil Daryle Williams analyzes the contentious politicking over the administration, meaning, and look of Brazilian culture that marked the first regime of president-dictator Getúlio Vargas (1883–1954). Examining a series of interconnected battles waged among bureaucrats, artists, intellectuals, critics, and everyday citizens over the state’s power to regulate and consecrate the field of cultural production, Williams argues that the high-stakes struggles over cultural management fought between the Revolution of 1930 and the fall of the Estado Novo dictatorship centered on the bragging rights to brasilidade—an intangible yet highly coveted sense of Brazilianness.
Williams draws on a rich selection of textual, pictorial, and architectural sources in his exploration of the dynamic nature of educational film and radio, historical preservation, museum management, painting, public architecture, and national delegations organized for international expositions during the unsettled era in which modern Brazil’s cultural canon took definitive form. In his close reading of the tensions surrounding official policies of cultural management, Williams both updates the research of the pioneer generation of North American Brazilianists, who examined the politics of state building during the Vargas era, and engages today’s generation of Brazilianists, who locate the construction of national identity of modern Brazil in the Vargas era.
By integrating Brazil into a growing body of literature on the cultural dimensions of nations and nationalism, Culture Wars in Brazil will be important reading for students and scholars of Latin American history, state formation, modernist art and architecture, and cultural studies.

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From the Publisher:

“This brilliant book will be highly controversial in Brazil and a catalyst for much future research and debate.”—Kenneth Maxwell, Foreign Affairs

“All the contradictory qualities of Vargas’s quasi-fascist state—activist, interventionist, nationalist, and conservative—vibrate in this fine analysis of cultural policy in the 1930s and 1940s.”—Dain Borges, University of California, San Diego

“Culture Wars in Brazil is an important book. Historians tend to neglect Brazilian cultural history, and Williams takes a significant step toward diminishing that lacunae. His writing is dramatic and exciting, his research wide-ranging and creative, and he has uncovered much fascinating material.”—Jeffrey Lesser, author of Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil

“A solid and memorable contribution to our understanding of Brazilian twentieth-century history.”—Robert M. Levine, author of Brazilian Legacies

From the Back Cover:

""Culture Wars in Brazil" is an important book. Historians tend to neglect Brazilian cultural history, and Williams takes a significant step toward diminishing that lacunae. His writing is dramatic and exciting, his research wide-ranging and creative, and he has uncovered much fascinating material."--Jeffrey Lesser, author of "Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil"

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Williams, Daryle
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