In her significant new book, The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in Brazil, distinguished historian Barbara Weinstein views racial stereotypes as “constitutive elements” in the production of the nation’s “historically structured spatial inequalities” (2). The book examines the racialization of São Paulo regionalism as well as the ways that paulista regional discourse has been classed and gendered. Weinstein focuses mainly on two of São Paulo’s salient twentieth-century historical episodes: the uprising against the Getulio Vargas regime in 1932 and the 400th-anniversary commemoration in 1954. The significance of Weinstein’s analysis, however, extends beyond these events and beyond Brazil.

Drawing on an impressive range of archives, periodicals, visual culture, and published primary and secondary sources that provide access to both elite and non-elite voices, Weinstein analyzes the regionalist discourse that framed and legitimated the 1932 revolution...

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