The Throes of Democracy

Brazil Since 1989

By Bryan McCann  

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In the 1980s, Brazil emerged from two decades of military dictatorship and embarked on an experiment in full democracy for the first time in the nation’s history. Since then, Brazilians have sought to live up to the ideals of this experiment while negotiating dramatic economic and cultural transformations. In The Throes of Democracy Bryan McCann gives a panoramic view of this process, exploring the relationships between the rise of the political left, the escalation of urban violence, the agribusiness boom and the spread of pentecostal evangelization. Brazil remains a land marked by deep inequality, but in the last two decades the structure of that inequality has changed substantially. This is a country that remains an endlessly vital source of popular culture, now bubbling forth from different corners of the map. This book provides a fascinating introduction to one of the twenty-first century’s most significant countries.

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  • Introduction
  • The Rise of the Left
  • Urban Crisis
  • Popular Music
  • Back to the Land
  • The Pentecostal Brushfire
  • New Media and Old Privileges
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Notes
  • Index


  • Bryan McCann

    Georgetown University

    Bryan McCann teaches courses on Colonial and Modern Latin America, particularly Brazil, and advanced topical courses on popular music in Cuba and Brazil and the history of Latin American Populism. Professor McCann has published works on the history of radio, popular music, politics and journalism in Brazil. He is currently researching a book on the neighborhood association movement that reshaped urban space and politics in Rio de Janeiro in the second half of the twentieth century.

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