End Of The Peasantry: The Rural Labor Movement in Northeast Brazil, 1961-1988

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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.

"Study of emerging rural labor politics in the sugar zone of Pernambuco under military rule shows how popular movements contribute to both democratization and social change. Work is well-researched, sensitive to theory and history, and emphasizes ongoing changes in economic structure"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822956181
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/1997
  • Series: Pitt Latin American Studies Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Acronyms
Pt. I The Awakening of the Unions
1 From Peasant Leagues to Unions in Rural Brazil 3
2 The Past as Prologue
Pt. II Explaining the New Rural Labor Movement 19
3 Structural Change and Conservative Modernization 39
4 The Regulation of Conflict 56
Pt. III The Unions in the New Republic
5 Sons of Cane: Leadership Dilemmas Within the Unions 79
6 Sugar with the Taste of Blood: Landlord Violence 103
7 The Candidates: The Unions and Political Parties 119
8 The Struggle for Heaven on Earth: Unions and Agrarian Reform 136
9 Conclusion: The End of the Peasantry 150
Appendixes 173
Notes 189
Glossary 207
Bibliography 211
Index 227
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