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Brazil: Essays on History and Politics

Published to mark his 80th birthday, this volume consists of seven essays by Leslie Bethell on major themes in modern Brazilian history and politics: Brazil and Latin America; Britain and Brazil (1808-1914); The Paraguayan War (1864-70); The decline and fall of slavery (1850-1888); The long road to democracy; Populism; The failure of the Left. The essays are new, but they draw on book chapters and journal articles published (mainly in Portuguese) and public lectures delivered in the ten years since his retirement as founding Director of the University of Oxford Centre for Brazilian Studies in 2007. In an autobiographical Introduction (Why Brazil?) Professor Bethell describes how, from the most unlikely of backgrounds, he became a historian of Brazil and how he came to devote much of his long academic career to the promotion and development of Brazilian studies in UK (and, to a lesser extent, US) universities. Leslie Bethell is one of the few great Brazilianists, as foreign scholars of Brazil are called, of his and subsequent generations. Brazilianists engage in scholarship that has breadth and depth; illuminate Brazil as an object of study, asking the most important questions that can be asked about the country; and give voice to Brazilian experiences and perspectives. Leslie Bethell has done these things during his long career, and he continues to do so, as this collection of his recent essays on Brazilian history and politics demonstrates.  Anthony Pereira, Director, Brazil Institute, King’s College London

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Table of Contents

Preface Anthony Peireira Introduction: Why Brazil? An autobiographical fragment 1. Brazil and Latin America 2. Britain and Brazil (1808–1914) 3. The Paraguayan War (1864–70) 4. The decline and fall of slavery in Brazil (1850–88) 5. The long road to democracy in Brazil 6. Populism in Brazil 7. The failure of the Left in Brazil

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