Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 01/Jul/2015;9(2):127-32.

Review of Transforming Brazil. A History of National Development in the Postwar Era

Maria Rita Loureiro

DOI: 10.1590/1981-38212014000200015

What is the need for another book on national development policy in Brazil? In the introduction, the author, a professor of Latin American History at the University of Denver, United States, seeks to undo the impression of a possible déjà vu. He indicates that the book not only includes the extensive literature published in Brazil and abroad on the subject but also an analysis of many new empirical material collected from government and private archives of many Brazilian and American research institutions. It also includes an analysis of information from newspapers and magazines and the latest literature through which he seeks to review certain interpretations of the national development policy in Brazil in the 1950s.

As a meticulous historian, the author aims to construct a broad summary of this process through an analytical focus on the Juscelino Kubitschek (JK) administration when it was at its apogee during the post-war period. Thus, the book seeks to integrate into its analysis the economic transformations linked to industrialization and the intense political and ideological debate of the period with other dimensions, which are seldom taken as a whole. Such dimensions include the expansion and diversification of the consumer society in the country, the remarkable cultural effervescence of the turbulent JK years, and the union activity of steel workers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro—one of the most mobilized segments of the working class, which increasingly became a political player in the context of the mass electoral democracy.


Review of Transforming Brazil. A History of National Development in the Postwar Era