The brilliant author of this book leaped into literary fame in 1952 with the appearance of A vida de Lima Barreto, now in its second edition. During the ensuing eight years, several other of his volumes appeared, capped by the present one, which seems more likely to increase than diminish his ascending prestige.
The present volume is an unbalanced review of Brazil’s political history (political in a very broad sense) from colonial days to the Paulista dissension of 1932. From beginning to end, the author emphasizes those facets of historical development which are in any way related to the distinguished career of Juscelino Kubitschek. The emphases are natural since the author expects to bring out in the near future a kindred volume dealing exclusively with the renowned retiring president.
In his wide coverage, the author reaches back into the Metternichan era of Austrian history in order to pick up Juscelino’s family background. Obviously, the references to the early influences that may have conditioned the man who was to be born in Minas Gerais in the early years of the twentieth century were bound to be of a thin nature. But as the decades pass, the allusions thicken in number and content until they find the ripe young man literally immersed in a multitude of local, state, and national activities. By 1932 (where the volume ends) Juscelino had become a renowned physician and surgeon in Minas Gerais, as well as a leading participant in all public affairs of his community.
In producing this treatise, the author has drawn upon a wide variety of materials, most of which should be classed as of a secondary nature. With emphases granted, the present reviewer finds little in the book to criticize. The few errors noted are of a minor, typographical nature. The exposition is a brilliant performance, at least as viewed from the Brazilian vantage ground.