The favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro have been the theme of many and varied academic studies in the areas of urban planning, urban history, and the social sciences. The question of violence and criminality in cities has garnered a similar amount of scholarly attention, although these issues are often addressed in general terms without the necessary contextualization. Very few works have covered in great detail and depth Rio's transition since the 1970s, focusing on the political changes and their interplay with broader local conditions as well as the nature and transformation of violence in the favelas and the city overall. Bryan McCann's study covers these questions, situating them within the complex political fabric that accompanied the transition from dictatorship to democracy. Among his most important objectives is to challenge the monolithic vision of the question of violence and to shed light...

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