Brazil’s Option or Crossroads for Brazil might be an appropriate title for this penetrating study of the problems facing Latin America’s awakening giant. Written by a prominent and popular political-economic analyst, it is a companion to an earlier work entitled A opção imperialista. The book comprises six essays covering major aspects of what the author believes to be Brazil’s dilemma—whether to continue as a dutiful satellite in the orbit created by “yankee imperialism” or to strike out for herself with a genuine national socioeconomic revolution.
In the author’s belief, his nation has yet to experience that coordinated effort of all national sectors which could promote a genuine progressive reform of its ills. To him the movement of April 1964, which displaced President João Goulart in favor of a military government, represented a middle-class spasm of fear toward Goulart’s ultra-liberalism intensified by foreign interests. He feels that the movement did not and can never become the true revolution which it has been called, and that its main result has been the firm attachment of Brazil to the United States in the “war of ideologies” to contain Communism. He argues that his thesis is proven by Marshal Castelo Branco’s swift agreement to send Brazilian troops to Santo Domingo a year later to support a revived American-sponsored policy of hemispheric intervention. Such actions, he asserts, have betrayed and sidetracked the movements for agrarian and industrial reforms which he alleges to have reached a peak during the Goulart regime. He finds ultimate hope for the future, however, in the growing millions of Brazil’s youth—a sector which he believes will never accept as permanent the nation’s underdeveloped status, tied to the policies of others.
Mário Pedrosa’s latest work is well calculated to provide volatile fuel for vigorous controversy within the confusing Brazilian political arena. Lucid, sharp, hard-hitting, and provocative, its text in Portuguese is an excellent example of the professional ability of contemporary Brazilian analysts and commentators. Whether Latin Americanists in the United States agree with the author’s strong partisan beliefs, they will find this work both an attractive change from previous conventional studies and a serious, well-organized collection of essays, meriting careful thought by all concerned with conditions in South America’s Land of the Future.
Initialed notices were written by John P. Dyson, Shepard L. Forman, Laurence Lewis, David M. Pletcher, Robert E. Quirk, Daniel Scroggins, James R. Scobie, Jeffrey Adelman, Irwin Gellman, Janet Holasek, and Thomas G. Powell, all of Indiana University.