The Mystery of Samba. HERMANO VIANNA: edited and translated by John Charles Chasteen. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
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How to Cite

Austerlitz, P. (1999). The Mystery of Samba. HERMANO VIANNA: edited and translated by John Charles Chasteen. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 10(2). Retrieved from http://eial.tau.ac.il/index.php/eial/article/view/1060

Abstract

This translation of Hermano Vianna's study of the Brazilian samba is an important contribution not only to English-language scholarship on Latin American music, but also to today's lively multidisciplinary discussion about race, nation, and popular culture. An anthropologist, Vianna discusses the social history of the samba (he also touches on some of samba's precursors and descendants), but the book is primarily a response to existing samba discourse among Brazilians. Because samba is considered the Brazilian "national rhythm," this discourse is inextricable from discussion about national identity. The book thus constitutes Vianna's take on nation, race, and music in Brazil. Accessible to readers unfamiliar with Brazilian studies, it is a good introduction to this field. John Charles Chasteen's English rendering reads exceptionally well; free of excessive jargon, its nuanced turns of phrase nicely frame the author's probing and provocative thoughts.
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