Joana Medrado's impressively researched study addresses the cultural history of labor relations in the cowboy (vaqueiro) culture of a region of northeastern Bahia. It forms part of a dynamic series, the Coleção Várias Histórias, linked to the Center for Research on the Social History of Culture at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). The book provides testimony to the current vibrancy of Brazilian historical writing. It offers a profound rethinking of some of the long-standing stereotypical social relations in literatures dedicated to social harmony, ideas especially prevalent in scholarly treatment of the sertão, the backlands of the Northeast. The historiography with which the author engages draws heavily from the evolving study of slavery since the mid-1980s, in which researchers have sought to understand more fully the themes of slave resistance and social negotiation. This book celebrates advances in the...

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