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Lula of Brazil

The Story So Far

Richard Bourne

Publication Year: 2008

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's dramatic life story has captured the imagination of millions, and his progressive politics have brought hope and excitement to Brazil—and the world. This compelling work is the first major English-language biography of the metalworker who became president of Latin America's largest and most powerful country. In a clearly written, vividly detailed narrative, Richard Bourne describes Lula's childhood hardships in an impoverished family, his days as a revered trade unionist, and the strike movement that brought down Brazil's military dictatorship. The book chronicles Lula's campaigns for the presidency, his first term in office beginning in 2002, a major corruption scandal, and his reelection in 2006. Throughout, Lula of Brazil connects this charismatic leader's life to larger issues, such as the difficulty of maintaining a progressive policy in an era of globalization. Brazil's contemporary history, parallels with other developing countries and other world leaders, the conservatism of Brazilian society, and other themes provide a rich backdrop for assessing the struggles, achievements, and failures of this major figure on both the Brazilian and the world stage.

Published by: University of California Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

I have to start with a confession: I lost my heart to Brazil at the age of nearly twenty-five, in 1965, when I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to spend six months in Brazil, theoretically linked to the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro but in reality free to work as an independent journalist. ...

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1. A Tough Start in Life

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pp. 1-23

Lula was born on 27 October 1945 in the neighborhood of Garanhuns, a small town about 150 miles inland from Recife, the state capital of Pernambuco.1 It was a Saturday. His father had left a month before to find work in São Paulo, and his mother, Dona Lindu, was already bringing up six children. ...

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2. Strike Leader

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pp. 24-48

Both Lula and his mother cried when the newlyweds departed for their honeymoon. Lula and Lourdes seem to have been very happy together. Lula had been her first boyfriend. With a loan from the Villares firm’s social fund, they were able to get their own two-room house in Vila das Mercês, close to Dona Lindu. ...

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3. The PT, the Workers’ Party

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pp. 49-75

In all the hubbub at the end of the 1970s, with an amnesty, major strikes, and a sense that the military dictatorship was in its final throes, a different note was sounded. Lula and a group of other more progressive union leaders were calling for a distinctive workers’ party—the Partido dos Trabalhadores, the PT. ...

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4. Persistent Candidate for the Presidency

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pp. 76-101

Lula had come surprisingly close to winning the 1989 election, but it was Fernando Collor de Mello who took office in March 1990. He was the first directly elected president of the new democracy, but he was an oddity. In spite of an advertising blitz, he was less well known and with a shorter track record than many of the candidates he defeated. ...

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5. Overview of the First Term

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pp. 102-126

Lula’s election victory brought euphoria to all those who had backed him from the beginning. When the second round of voting confirmed his victory, the wealthy center of São Paulo, the Avenida Paulista, erupted in the red flags of the PT. When he accepted the presidential sash from Cardoso in early 2003, ...

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6. Domestic Policy

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pp. 127-152

Lula’s personal experience as a hungry child informed his government’s most attractive campaign promise in the 2002 presidential campaign. It would establish a program called Fome Zero—Zero Hunger—that would abolish starvation. In a country with many millions of poor people, ...

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7. International and Economic Policy

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pp. 153-175

Many regarded the foreign policy of Lula’s government as the aspect that most truly reflected the original ideals of the party he founded, the PT, while its economic policy was the biggest betrayal. Although neither the foreign nor the economic policies were entirely consistent, ...

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8. Corruption and Scandal

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pp. 176-195

Brazilian history is replete with stories of corruption, both large and small. The country is geographically immense, and for a long time communications were poor. Policing, even when honest in intention, has proved difficult. Family and local obligations have often been valued more highly than obedience to the law or scrupulous probity. ...

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9. The Elections of 2006

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pp. 196-208

Lula’s last big rally, on the eve of the first round of the presidential election on 1 October 2006, was a vintage occasion. He spoke to a crowd of more than three thousand people, the majority waving PT flags, at a big open space called the Area Verde in São Bernardo, his hometown where he himself voted. ...

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10. Lula So Far: An Interim Assessment

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pp. 209-232

When Lula was reelected for a second term, on 29 October 2006, around four thousand of his supporters partied that evening on the Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. But the turnout was tiny compared with the celebration four years earlier, when one hundred thousand people came out into the street, filling the long commercial thoroughfare. ...


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pp. 233-254

Select Bibliography

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pp. 255-258


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pp. 259-286

E-ISBN-13: 9780520932524
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520261556

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2008