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Book, Thinkers who invented Brazil[LS]

Book, Thinkers who invented Brazil[LS]

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Before assuming a seat in the Federal Senate in 1983, and thus effectively beginning a political trajectory culminated in two consecutive presidential terms, sociologist and professor Fernando Henrique Cardoso participated in the public debate, mainly through interventions in the written press, which made him known outside the university context. Already considered one of the most brilliant intellectuals of his generation, graduated at USP under the aegis of Marxism in the 1950s, the author (with Enzo Faletto) of the influential Dependency and development in Latin America (1969) published a series of texts in 1978 in the extinct Senhor Vogue magazine, in which it presented the life and work of key Brazilian interpreters, such as Euclides da Cunha, Sérgio Buarque de Holanda and Gilberto Freyre. These articles, revised and altered by the author, form one of the nuclei of this book, devoted to the Brazilian intellectuals who forged FHC's vision of the country, its identity and its major issues. Other, more recent texts are unpublished in the form in which they are now published. Among these are essays on Joaquim Nabuco, Gilberto Freyre and Raymundo Faoro. The latter was written especially for the volume; the other two served as the basis for conferences, respectively, at the Brazilian Academy of Letters in March 2010 and at the Paraty International Literary Fair (Flip) in August of the same year. The remaining chapters are made up of introductions to the edition of books by some authors, speeches or tributes given that were later packaged into books. In the eighteen texts, FHC dialogues with his masters about the recurring themes that unify the volume: the clash between the State and civil society, the legacy of colonization, the vicissitudes of democracy, the obstacles to economic development, the promotion of social justice. But in addition to the fine analysis of the texts, always done with great narrative verve, the former president contextualizes works and authors, often dealing with the personal impact that the latter had on him. In fact, in some cases, these are not just intellectual affinities: due to generational circumstances and intertwining of lives, FHC benefited from direct contact with several of the authors whose works he discusses in the book. This is what happens with Florestan Fernandes, of whom he was a student and assistant before they became colleagues and street neighbors, as well as with Antonio Candido, also a teacher and later a colleague. Or even Celso Furtado, with whom he shared a house in Santiago during the brief months in which the great economist worked at ECLAC after the 1964 coup, and Caio Prado, who, like Florestan and Sérgio Buarque, was part of the future president's doctoral committee. , and lived with him at the end of the 1950s and beginning of the following decade, when he was the inspiration behind the Revista Brasiliense, with which FHC collaborated, not to mention the militancy misadventures surrounding the Party. Thinkers who invented Brazil is therefore mandatory reading to understand the visions that shaped the classic attempts to explain the country, and an invitation to reflect on the relevance of these analyzes in the face of the challenges of the future.

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