Carnival in Porto Alegre? Tourists and historians alike might be surprised to find the two linked, given that Rio Grande do Sul is generally best known for more rustic entertainments. Alexandre Lazzari’s book offers a valuable look at the development of Carnival in what was still a small town of roughly 40,000, in the era when it began to be a national institution. Brazil’s southernmost state and its capital have made more important contributions to Brazilian economic and political history than they have to cultural history, but this revised master’s thesis is more than just a helpful reminder of how national cultural phenomena took on local manifestations prior to the development of radio. It is also a useful corrective to the notion that in the history of Carnival, long-term popularization was always the dominant trend. Historians will profit by using its insights in...

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