Police and politics, police and civilization, police and the city, police and labor, and police and criminality are the dyads that provide titles for the five central chapters of Marcelo Thadeu Quintanilha Martins's study, originally presented as a doctoral thesis at the University of São Paulo in 2012. The book's geographic and temporal purview, as its subtitle indicates, is the Brazilian state of São Paulo between the late nineteenth century and the 1930s, though its text takes the reader far from southeastern Brazil and some of its implications might be pushed past the time frame of the epilogue, which closes with a “despedida” (farewell) lingering into late 1937. Readers of Portuguese interested in state building, criminality, and the modern history of Brazil's most important provincial unit will find much to repay their attention.

Marshaling a wide range of manuscript, periodical, and memorial...

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