Disconcerting orthography makes extremely heavy reading out of this ponderous volume, which serves as the autobiography of Brazilian “Jeneral” Ber–toldo Klinger, who rose through the ranks. The period covered is from 1899 to 1955 with emphasis on the 1924-1933 decade. The author dwells at length on the need for professionalization of the Brazilian military and it is in this area that the book has some value to the scholar. The author’s dedication to professionalism, however, did not prevent him from supporting the São Paulo revolt against Presidentdictator Getúlio Vargas for his failure to reestablish constitutional government after his imposition by force in 1930. The author’s views on the communist and fascist movement that plagued Brazil in the 1930’s are both emotional and cursory.
There are passing references to some outstanding civilian personalities, for example, Vargas, Flores da Cunha, Osvaldo Aranha, and military officials, for example Generals Mena Barreto, Leite de Castro, Dutra, and Admiral Noronha, but the author does not give any particular insight into their backgrounds, personalities, or political leanings.
The last section of the volume is primarily a discussion of the Vargas and Dutra eras and the undue role of the armed forces in politics during those administrations.