While he lived, José Maria dos Santos was the authority on the Republican Party in São Paulo, having won that distinction by his excellent journalistic articles and by his authoritative Os republicanos paulistas e a abolição (São Paulo, 1942). In those writings, he showed his antipathy towards the whole republican movement and its leaders with the exception only of Bernardino de Campos. In this unfinished and posthumous volume, the hostility and the devotion are continued.

The work at hand is mistitled since it is concerned with the general scene rather than with the particular. Campos only belatedly enters the narrative as a full participant. If anyone, Quintino Bocayuva, with his deplorable fascination with Spanish American political forms, is the hero/villain of this account of the party in its days of propaganda and in the first years of its victory.

Santos’ account is a rather intimate although rambling analysis of the period of republican propaganda, of the ’89 Revolution, and of the establishment of the first republic. It is not clear if the text was initially planned to be presented as it is, but Santos, elsewhere lucid in his writings, is not so here. The average interested reader, or even the historian of Brazil who is not a specialist in this particular period, will be bewildered by this book. The analyses of the institutions, personalities, and events concerned are so refined that only one already intimate with the events will benefit completely. The author wrote with a good deal of insight but presumed too much knowledge on the part of his audience. The reader will also be distressed by the absence of references. However, the latter were probably planned by Santos, but he evidently died before adding them to the manuscript. Certainly his other works were well documented.

Since this volume is a reflection of the author’s ambivalent devotion both to the monarchy and to those democratic elements in the Republican party, well typified by Bernardino de Campos, it can be useful as an illuminating and courageous interpretation of the period. Santos’ position on the “founding fathers” and the first administrations of the Republic has never been popular in Brazil. As a memorial to the author however, it would have been more valuable had the editors documented and tightened or clarified his text.