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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.
|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|