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Book Reviews – and takes it at face value. Trinkunas outlines the successes and failures of the Bolivarian government over its first decade in power clearly and evenhandedly . He should also be lauded for reminding policy makers in the U.S. that Venezuela poses no real national security threat: “At best, it rises to the level of a national security irritation” (28). John Magdaleno (chapter 3) offers an in depth look into public opinion shifts within Venezuela regarding Chávez and his policies, though most of his data comes from 2002. Corrales (chapter 2) and Marı́a Teresa Romero (chapter 4) present important insights of their own, but their narratives are too often derailed by invective. Corrales flippantly asserts that “[e]veryone” in Latin America understands that Chávez’s enormous monetary contributions to socialwelfare projects are “mostly a publicity stunt meant to camouflage serious domestic abuses and dubious international pretentions” (35). Romero goes a step farther. In her telling, not only does Chávez have “little regard for majority opinion” (69), but is intent on “pursuing an expansionist foreign policy, and with using [Venezuela’s] vast resources – including alleged profits from drug trafficking – to demolish democracy in the region” (75). Such claims, which are not supported with serious evidence, may be acceptable in a foreign policy forum, but have no place in a scholarly book. The rest of the contributors address relations between Venezuela and specific countries or regions. These chapters will probably be of interest to scholars more than to policy makers, even though they are not overly concern with theory. As a group they are highly valuable. The similarities and contrasts between Maingot’s (chapter 7) and Norman Girvan’s (chapter 8) accounts of Venezuela’s influence in the Caribbean are particularly illuminating . Castañeda’s concluding chapter hews closely to his well-known (and oft criticized) distinction between the “right Left” and “wrong Left” in Latin America, and neither does it do justice to the variety of perspectives in the volume nor does if offer substantial new information. Yet, as suggested above, his presence may enlarge the potential audience for a volume which richly deserves it. Eduardo Frajman Interdisciplinary Studies Aurora University BRAZIL’S STEEL CITY: DEVELOPMENTALISM, STRATEGIC POWER, AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN VOLTA REDONDA, 1941–1964. By Oliver J. Dinius. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010. p. 352, $65.00. Oliver J. Dinius’s Brazil’s Steel City: Developmentalism, Strategic Power, and Industrial Relations in Volta Redonda, 1941–1964, is a welcome and important contribution to scholarship on labor relations and development in Brazil. By looking at the Companhia Nacional Siderúrgica (National Steel Company; CSN) and how state institutions, company managers, and 117 The Latin Americanist, September 2012 workers shaped industrialism in the mid-twentieth century, Dinius provides us with new ways to think about labor and industry in modern Latin America. Dinius’s work is divided more or less into two halves. In the first half of the book, he focuses on the political and economic elites connected to Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo dictatorship, following the example of Barbara Weinstein’s work on industrial elites in São Paulo. As Dinius shows, these men were responsible for the long, complicated process that conceptualized and implemented the CSN as part of Vargas’s broader efforts to modernize Brazil. After spending years formulating the discursive vision and policy for a new national steel industry, these elites attempted to employ the state’s paternalist tutelage over a workforce that often saw high degrees of turnover, all in the name of national development and modernization. In the process, these men transformed Volta Redonda, in northern Rio de Janeiro state, from a small rural town to the center of national industry. The analysis of this process provides one of the major highlights of the book, as Dinius masterfully shows how Catholic ideals, state paternalism, and military-style labor administration all led to the creation of the factory and the company town in Volta Redonda. However, as becomes increasingly clear throughout the latter half of the book, the vision of CSN chiefs like Macedo Soares had of controlled production for the national economy soon faced challenges from the workers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-203X
Print ISSN
1557-2021
Pages
pp. 117-119
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-25
Open Access
No
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