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Welcoming The Undesirables / Edition 1
     

Welcoming The Undesirables / Edition 1

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by Jeffrey Lesser
 

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ISBN-10: 0520084136

ISBN-13: 9780520084131

Pub. Date: 11/19/1994

Publisher: University of California Press


Jeffrey Lesser's invaluable book tells the poignant and puzzling story of how earlier this century, in spite of the power of anti-Semitic politicians and intellectuals, Jews made their exodus to Brazil, "the land of the future." What motivated the Brazilian government, he asks, to create a secret ban on Jewish entry in 1937 just as Jews desperately sought refuge

Overview


Jeffrey Lesser's invaluable book tells the poignant and puzzling story of how earlier this century, in spite of the power of anti-Semitic politicians and intellectuals, Jews made their exodus to Brazil, "the land of the future." What motivated the Brazilian government, he asks, to create a secret ban on Jewish entry in 1937 just as Jews desperately sought refuge from Nazism? And why, just one year later, did more Jews enter Brazil legally than ever before? The answers lie in the Brazilian elite's radically contradictory images of Jews and the profound effect of these images on Brazilian national identity and immigration policy.

Lesser's work reveals the convoluted workings of Brazil's wartime immigration policy as well as the attempts of desperate refugees to twist the prejudices on which it was based to their advantage. His subtle analysis and telling anecdotes shed light on such pressing issues as race, ethnicity, nativism, and nationalism in postcolonial societies at a time when "ethnic cleansing" in Europe is once again driving increasing numbers of refugees from their homelands.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520084131
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/19/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tablesix
A Note on Spellingx
Abbreviations Used in the Text and Notesxi
Prefacexv
Introduction: Brazil and the Jews1
1.The "Other" Arrives23
2.Nationalism, Nativism, and Restriction46
3.Brazil Responds to the "Jewish Question"83
4.Anti-Semitism and Philo-Semitism?118
5.The Pope, the Dictator, and the Refugees Who Never Came146
6.Epilogue: Brazilian Jews, Jewish Brazilians169
Appendixes
1.The Jewish Population of Brazil179
2.Jewish and General Immigration to Brazil, 1881-1942180
3.Port of Jewish Arrivals in Brazil, 1925-1930181
4.Jewish Immigration to Brazil, 1925-1935182
5.Jewish and General Immigration to Brazil, 1925-1947183
6.Jewish Immigration to Brazil, by Country of Origin, 1933-1942184
7.Jewish Emigration from Germany and Jewish Immigration to Brazil, 1933-1941185
8.Jewish Immigrants as a Percentage of All Immigrants to Brazil and Other Countries, 1933-1947186
Notes187
Bibliography241
Index271

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Welcoming the Undesirables 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Welcoming the Undesirables' sets out with an important project: to problemitize the image of Brazilian society as a white/black story. He does this by engaging the official discourse surrounding Jewish immigration into Brazil during the early twentieth century. By looking at such discussion, Lesser asserts that Brazilian Jews occupied a racial space that was both nonwhite and nonblack. Lesser's use of intellectual and legal conversations convinces the reader that official discourse indeed created an alternative racial space. Yet he fails to address to what extent this official existence existed in the minds of the general population, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Furthermore, Lesser improperly uses the term 'community,' assuming an essential Jewish identity that simply may not have existed. Over all, this is a worthwhile discussion of ethnicity in Brazil and an important beginning in establishing a more complex conversation on race and ethnicity both in Brazil and elsewhere.