Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
Autos and Progress: The Brazilian Search for Modernity

Autos and Progress: The Brazilian Search for Modernity

by Joel Wolfe
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Autos and Progress reinterprets twentieth-century Brazilian history through auto-mobiles, using them as a window for understanding the nation's struggle for modernity in the face of its massive geographical size, weak central government, and dependence on agricultural exports. Among the topics Wolfe reaches by cars are the first sports cars and elite consumerism, intellectuals' embrace of cars as the key for transformation and unification of Brazil, Henry Ford's building of a company town in the Brazilian jungle, the creation of a transportation infrastructure, democratization and consumer culture, auto workers and their creation of a national political party, and the economic and environmental impact of autos on Brazil. This focus on Brazilians' fascination with automobiles and their reliance on auto production and consumption as keys to their economic and social transformation explains how Brazil-which enshrined its belief in science and technology in its national slogan, "Order and Progress"-has differentiated itself from other Latin American nations. Autos and Progress engages key issues in Brazil around the meaning and role of race in society and also addresses several classic debates in Brazilian studies about the nature of Brazil's great size and diversity and how they shaped state making.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195174564
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/16/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joel Wolfe is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of Working Women, Working Men: São Paulo and the Rise of Brazil's Industrial Working Class, 1900-1955.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 First Cars: Curiosities of the Elite 13

Chapter 2 The Coming of Tropical Modernity: Automobiles and the Question of Nation 33

Chapter 3 Americanism and Fordism: The Search for a Brazilian El Dorado 61

Chapter 4 Nationalist Development: Getúlio Vargas and the Integration of Brazil 91

Chapter 5 The Multinational Solution: Juscelino Kubitschek and the National Auto Industry 113

Chapter 6 From Technocrats to Democrats: Automobility and Citizenship 145

Epilogue: Tropical Modernity in a Globalized Space 179

Notes 189

Index 265

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