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Brazil: The Fortunes of War

Brazil: The Fortunes of War

by Neill Lochery

Hardcover(New Edition)

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When World War II erupted in 1939, Brazil seemed a world away. Lush, remote, and underdeveloped, the country and its capital of Rio de Janeiro lured international travelers seeking a respite from the drums of the war. “Rio: at the end of civilization, as we know it,” claimed Orson Welles as he set out for the city in 1942. But Brazil’s bucolic reputation as a distant land of palm trees and pristine beaches masked a more complex reality—one that the country’s leaders were busily exploiting in a desperate gambit to secure Brazil’s place in the modern world.

In Brazil, acclaimed historian Neill Lochery reveals the secret history of the country’s involvement in World War II, showing how the cunning statecraft and economic opportunism of Brazil’s leaders transformed it into a regional superpower over the course of the war. Brazil’s natural resources and proximity to the United States made it strategically invaluable to both the Allies and the Axis, a fact that the country’s dictator, Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, keenly understood. In the war’s early years, Vargas and a handful of his close advisors dexterously played both sides against each other, generating enormous wealth for Brazil and fundamentally transforming its economy and infrastructure.

But Brazil’s cozy neutrality was not to last. Forced to choose sides, Vargas declared war on the Axis powers and sent 25,000 troops to the European theater. This Brazilian expeditionary force arrived too late—and was called home too early—to secure a significant role for Brazil in the postwar order. But within Brazil, at least, Vargas had made his mark, ensuring Rio’s emergence as a major international city and effectively remaking Brazil as a modern nation.

A fast-paced tale of war and diplomatic intrigue, Brazil reveals a long-buried chapter of World War II and the little-known origins of one of the world’s emerging economic powerhouses.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465039982
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 06/03/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Neill Lochery, PhD, is a world-renowned source on Israel, the Middle East, and Mediterranean history. He is the author of five books and countless newspaper and magazine articles. He regularly appears on television in the UK, the USA, and the Middle East. He is currently based at University College London and regularly gives talks in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Prologue: The Good Neighbor 1

Part 1 Prelude to War 9

1 The Key 11

2 The Left Eye Of Vargas 22

Part 2 Brazilian Neutrality 35

3 Dangerous Games 37

4 A Shot Across the Bow 51

5 Discordant Allies 65

6 Escape From Rio 82

7 Deepening Ties and Widening Divides 95

Part 3 Slipping Toward War 113

8 Right Behind You 115

9 Welles Checks Out and Welles Checks In 132

10 A Question of Succession 149

Part 4 Brazil Goes To War 163

11 The Decision 165

12 Lights Out Over Rio 180

13 The Dinner Party 193

Part 5 Brazil's Active Participation 207

14 Late Arrivals 209

15 The Promise 222

16 A Farewell to Aranha 235

17 The Challenge 246

Part 6 Postwar Blues 259

18 The Exit 261

19 The Final Act 273

Epilogue: The Legacy 289

Acknowledgments 293

Photo Credits 297

Bibliography 299

Notes 309

Index 333

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