A richly textured and balanced analysis of Pernambuco's 'sugar zone' economy and the local labor movement during the 1961-88 period. . . . [The book] provides a stimulating addition not only to our understanding of recent Brazilian history but also to the complicated—and critically important—trajectory of democratic transitions presently taking place throughout Latin America.
The rural labor movement played a surprisingly active role in Brazil’s transition to democracy in the 1980s. While in most Latin American countries rural labor was conspicuously marginal, in Brazil, an expanded, secularized, and centralized movement organized strikes, staged demonstrations for land reform, demanded political liberalization, and criticized the government’s environmental policies. In this ground-breaking book, Anthony W. Pereira explains this transition as the result of two intertwined processes – the modernization of agricultural production and the expansion of the welfare state into the countryside – and explores the political consequences of these processes, occurring not only in Latin America but in much of the Third World.
Anthony W. Pereira's The End of the Peasantry: The Rural Labor Movement in Northeast Brazil is an ambitious book that uses a specific set of actors——-the rural labor force in the sugar fields of Pernambuco, Brazil——-to address severa l theoretical debates. . . . [H]is study . . . goes beyond the usual confines of this approach by including elements not usually discussed and a number of nonstructural elements as well.
Anthony Pereira's The End of the Peasantry is a solid contribution to an important and growing body of literature focusing on the Brazilian countryside in the decades following the 1964 military coup. Based upon the close study of rural labor unions in Pernambuco's sugar zone, Pereira's well researched and thoughtfully written monograph explores a number of important questions regarding the changing nature of rural labor unions under the military governments and the continued challenges faced by these organizations as they operate in a recently re-democratized country.
Pereira . . . has made an important contribution to the small number of studies on rural labor mobilization in Brazil.
Anthony W. Pereira is associate professor of political science at Tulane University. He is the author of The End of Peasantry: The Emergence of the Rural Trade Union Movement in Northeast Brazil, 1961Ð1988, and coeditor of Irregular Armed Forces and Their Role in Politics and State Formation.