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Brazilian Propaganda:
Legitimizing an Authoritarian Regime

Nina Schneider

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“A formidable and genuine contribution to the study of the Brazilian dictatorship of 1964?1985, a subject that has not yet been thoroughly explored even by Brazilian researchers.”—Brasiliana  
 
“Revealing and timely. . . . Brazilian Propaganda asks questions largely overlooked during the nation’s recent truth-seeking process.”—Hispanic American Historical Review  
 
“A focused and rigorously analyzed study.”—The Americas  
 
“Schneider allows us to reflect on how a censored, controlled and even complicit people may resist in the every-day and how even within oppressive institutions there are shifting lines of complicity and critique.”—Journal of Lusophone Studies
 
“This informative, well researched, and thoughtful book sheds important light on the military regime that governed Brazil from 1964 to 1985. . . . A fine addition to the literature on Brazil’s military regime.”—Bulletin of Latin American Research
 
“Paints a comprehensive picture of how propaganda was produced under the military regime: its ideological roots, narrative elements, official and private agents that produce it, the discourse of AERP’s management men and the question of reception.”— European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies  
 
“Schneider . . . consulted a rich number of primary and secondary sources and used multiple data-collection strategies—content analyses of film, of propaganda documents, and of Globo news, as well as interviews.”—Journal of Interdisciplinary History  
 
“An excellent synthesis: well-written, originally researched, skillfully drawing on exclusive sources, and addressing a neglected but important realm of study.”—Latin Americanist  
 
“A formidable and genuine contribution to the study of the Brazilian dictatorship of 1964—1985, a subject that has not yet been thoroughly explored even by Brazilian Researchers.”—Journal for Brazilian Studies
 
"Highly original. Skillfully employs and interprets a variety of important sources, including oral history interviews, documents from the military regime, photographs, and especially films."—Kenneth P. Serbin, author of Needs of the Heart: A Social and Cultural History of Brazil’s Clergy and Seminaries
 
"An outstanding contribution to our understanding of recent Brazilian politics and history. A thorough, much-needed, and relevant study of political propaganda."—Ollie Andrew Johnson III, author of Brazilian Party Politics and the Coup of 1964
 
In Brazilian Propaganda, Nina Schneider examines the various modes of official, and unofficial, propaganda used by an authoritarian regime.
 
Such propaganda is commonly believed to be political, praising military figures and openly legitimizing state repression. However, Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-1985) launched seemingly apolitical official campaigns that were aesthetically appealing and ostensibly aimed to "enlighten" and "civilize." Some were produced as civilian-military collaborations and others were conducted by privately owned media, but undergirding them all was the theme of a country aspiring to become a developed nation.
 
Focusing primarily on visual media, Schneider demonstrates how many short films of the period portrayed a society free from class and racial conflicts. These films espoused civic-mindedness while attempting to distract from atrocities perpetuated by the regime.
 
Mining a rich trove of materials from the National Archives in Rio and conducting interviews with key propagandists, Schneider demonstrates the ambiguities of twentieth-century Brazilian propaganda. She also challenges the notion of a homogeneous military regime in Brazil, highlighting its fractures and competing forces. By analyzing the strategy, production, mechanisms, and meaning of these films and reconstructing their effects, she provides an alternative interpretation of the propagandists' intentions and a new framework for understanding this era in Brazil's history.


Nina Schneider is Senior Research Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
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An excellent synthesis: well-written, originally researched, skillfully drawing on exclusive sources, and addressing a neglected but important realm of study.
--The Latin Americanist

Revealing and timely. . . . Brazilian Propaganda asks questions largely overlooked during the nation’s recent truth-seeking process.
--Hispanic American Historical Review

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