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Politics and Parentela in Paraíba : a case study of family-based oligarchy in Brazil /
Linda Lewin.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1987.
xxiii, 497 p. : ill., maps
0691077193 (alk. paper) :
More Details
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1987.
0691077193 (alk. paper) :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [457]-473.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-03:
Lewin (University of California, Berkeley) analyzes the kinship connections that carried Epitacio Pessoa from boss of Para;ba to the presidency of Brazil under the Old Republic. Her argument-that parentela (roughly, extended family relations) undergirded both oligarchy and boss rule (coronelismo) from the end of the Empire well into Vargas's time-is not merely a rehash of the conclusion of other Brazilian regional histories. Epitacio climbed the ladder to chief delegate at the Versailles Conference, then president, then again diplomat in Europe not only because of shrewd family-based coalition-building, but also because the great states often blackballed each other's native sons. Epitacio's stand in as governor in the 1920s, his nephew Jo~ao, then shook the live-and-let-live family politics to its foundations by favoring the urban interests, searching out rural bandits in the name of law and order, and siding with the nationalist reformers. Though carried out for personal reasons, Jo~ao's assassination in 1930 was therefore used by the Vargas forces to justify intervention in Paraiba. Lewin's conclusions thus extend understanding in two ways. First, she demonstrates that the weaker, poorer states like Paraiba kept to parentela politics long after S~ao Paulo had ideological parties and Rio Grande do Sul's political mobilization rested on military connections. Second, Lewin shows that family influence was revised, not replaced, over much of Brazil until the economic boom of the post-WW II period. Anthropologists, economists, and political scientists could gain from Lewin's in-depth analysis. Historians of Brazil, however, must place Lewin's work alongside other strong regional histories in English, such as those of Joseph L. Love or John D. Wirth. University libraries.-T.J. Knight, Colorado State University
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Choice, March 1988
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