Roots of Brazil
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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Foreword: Why Read Roots of Brazil Today?
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An English translation of this book has been long awaited and finally comes at an important juncture, now that Brazil’s economy and culture have become so prominent in the world. And yet, in one’s urgency to understand that country, why read a book written almost eighty years ago? ...
The Significance of Roots of Brazil (1967); Postscript (1986)
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At a certain stage of life, we can assess the past without the danger of becoming complacent. Our testimony becomes an assessment of the experience of many others, of all those who belong to what is called a generation. At first we consider ourselves different from one another, but gradually we become so similar that we lose our individuality...
Preface to the Second Edition of 1948; Preface to the Third Edition of 1956
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First published in 1936, this book, in its current form, has been substantially modified from the original printing. To reproduce it without corrections would imply repeating thoughts and opinions that, for several reasons, have failed to satisfy me. If, at times, I have felt apprehension about radically revising the text, in which case it would...
Note to the Translation
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Translation is an imperfect science and a precarious art. A translator takes on the uneasy task of having to interpret a work more meticulously than critics working in the original language, as well as that of crafting a new text that must strike a balance between the exigencies of being faithful to the language and style of the author and offering...
Chapter 1: European Frontiers
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The effort to implant European culture in an extensive stretch of territory under conditions largely foreign, if not adverse, to Europe’s thousand-year tradition is the dominant fact in the origins of Brazilian society and the one that has yielded the most valuable consequences. We have brought our forms of association, our institutions...
Chapter 2: Work and Adventure
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Pioneers in conquering the tropics for the cause of civilization, the Portuguese saw this achievement as their greatest historical mission. And despite all the accusations that can be made against that accomplishment, the Portuguese were not only effective but also natural bearers of that mission. No other Old World people were so well...
Chapter 3: The Rural Heritage
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The entire structure of our colonial society was based on a rural environment. This fact is essential to understanding the circumstances that continued to govern us, directly or indirectly, long after independence. The consequences of the long-standing rural predominance are still palpable today. ...
Chapter 4: Sowers and Builders
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The primacy of rural life in colonial Brazil is in harmony with the spirit of Portuguese domination, which refrained from imposing imperative and absolute rules. Rather, the Portuguese always made concessions where immediate convenience so advised, and they paid more attention to achieving riches within easy reach...
Chapter 5: The Cordial Man
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Contrary to what some theoreticians assume, the state is not a broadening of the family circle, and it is even less an integration of certain groupings or of certain particularistic desires best exemplified by the family. There is no gradation between the family circle and the state, but rather discontinuity and even opposition ...
Chapter 6: A New Era
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A tendency toward social solidarity is not very important when considering the common good. That explains why we are reluctant to accept principles of organization over the individual, and why religious belief itself becomes excessively human and down to earth in Brazil. All of our usual modes of behavior often reveal a singular attachment...
Chapter 7: Our Revolution
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If the date of abolition of slavery in Brazil marked the end of agrarian predominance, then the political framework established the following year was an attempt to adequately respond to the demands of a new, recomposed society. A secret link connects these two events and several others with a slow, but sure and planned, revolution...
Afterword: Roots of Brazil and Afterwards
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Roots of Brazil is the product of a special phase in the intellectual trajectory of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. This book is not just the first in a series of noteworthy works, nor does its interest stem merely from the sociological analysis of the development of Brazilian society...
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Index; Author Biography
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2012