This is a study of regions, in which one region's political actors came to see their homeland—the state of São Paulo—as the rightful hegemon over the rest. Barbara Weinstein describes how regional superiority was imagined and how this imaginary was produced and consumed. She argues that “racialized, classed, and gendered discourses of modernity have been constitutive elements in the production and reproduction of inequalities—material, political, cultural—naturalized through association with a particular geographic space” (p. 337).

The Color of Modernity refers to a São Paulo imagined by its political elites as modern, law-abiding, and racially white. In this portrayal, the state was the Brazilian federation's natural leader, a claim in which paulista ideologues regarded the majority of states, especially those in the Northeast, as populated by impoverished Afro-Brazilians. Brazil's interests were identified with São Paulo's, and São Paulo's with those of its dominant...

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