Raised in a shack in the Brazilian northeast by a single mother, Lula da Silva rose from a working-class background to become a union leader, organizer of Brazil's Workers' Party, and in time, the most popular president of Brazil. In admiration, Barack Obama called Lula "the most popular politician on Earth"-perhaps a fitting title for the man who finished eight years as Brazil's president with popularity ratings above 80%. As president, he rose above ideology to build his country's self-esteem with a growing economy and relief from poverty. This is the first full biography of a democratic leader whose remarkable success will be an inspiration for decades to come.
Spanning his childhood, his years in the labor movement, his four campaigns for the presidency, his two presidential terms and the election of his successor, Dilma Rousseff, this volume focuses on Lula as a personality and explores his impact on Brazilian society. Elected on an ill-defined platform of "change," Lula's inaugural address promised that hope had conquered fear and that it was time for Brazil to blaze a new path. However, he understood that what most Brazilians really wanted was relief from stressful and demanding changes. Drawing strength from his mother's courage, optimism, and religious faith, Lula forged a new leadership style contrasting sharply with that of populist Latin American leaders who aggravate social class and international conflicts.
Lula offers a model of leadership for an age when democratic revolutions sweep the globe and presidents-for-life are thrown out of office in disgrace. Despite his overwhelming popularity, Lula refused to allow his supporters to advocate amending the Brazilian constitution to allow him a third term as president. His biography is essential reading for anyone concerned with building democratic order in a developing society.
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