This is Fernando Teixeira da Silva’s doctoral dissertation as submitted to the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). It traces the history of the labor movement in the port city of Santos between the two world wars. This chronological focus is deliberately unconventional, in that it bridges the year 1930, still widely accepted as the dividing line between a period of “authentic” labor movements and a new era overshadowed by Getúlio Vargas’s welfare and labor legislation, which supposedly co-opted workers and corrupted unions. Silva argues against such a periodization by illustrating continuities in labor organization and stressing the specificity of the workers’ demands both before and after 1930. He also revisits the cupulismo thesis — the argument that Communist labor leaders undermined unions by putting party dogma ahead of the members’ bread-and-butter demands — and refutes it for the case of Santos, where the Communists gained the trust of the rank...

You do not currently have access to this content.