Rather than dealing systematically with social changes in Brazil, as the title of this book might lead one to believe, this is a collection of papers in some way related to the main topic. The chapters are drawn from papers read by the author at professional meetings, reprints of newspaper articles, “conferencias,” and reprints of chapters contributed by the author to other books.

Altogether, the book comprises fifteen chapters. These are divided into three parts: Part I, “Aspects of the Cultural Situation of Brazil”; Part II, “Aspects of the Social Evolution of São Paulo”; Part III, “Aspects of the Interaction of the Indian and Negro.” This medley of articles ranges from a sophisticated and technical sociological discussion of social change to a report of a field study of “congadas” and “batuques.”

Other chapters deal with “extra-economic” obstacles to industrialization in Brazil, cultural relations between Brazil and Europe, and a study of a Brazilian charismatic leader. The range and diversity of the materials treated necessitate comment on a few chapters likely to be of most interest to the reader.

Chapter II entitled “Is There a Crisis of Democracy in Brasil?” discusses the evolution of democratic political institutions in that country, and the prospects for their future development. Chapter VII discusses and analyzes the settlement of São Paulo in the XVI Century. This chapter includes a bibliography of what the author considers to be the principal sources, both primary and secondary for the history of São Paulo during this period. Chapter IX contains materials on the “constitutionalist” revolution of 1932.

Although this book contains little that is of specifically historical interest, the essays are a rich source of information and perceptions about Brazilian culture and social evolution.