Caio Prado Júnior na Cultura Política Brasileira. RAIMUNDO SANTOS: Rio de Janeiro: MAUAD, 2001.

Benjamin Junge

Abstract


Marxist thought in 20th-century Brazil has remained in consistent dialogue with historical, sociological and anthropological theories of national history and character, as well as with the organized political struggle over Brazil's present and future. The work of historian Caio Prado Júnior (1907-1990), best known for his landmark treatise: A Formação Económica do Brasil Contemporânea (1945), has been highly influential in both of these ongoing processes. Caio Prado's economic interpretation of history, which viewed Brazil's political, economic and racial problems as a consequence of colonial settlement patterns driven by global Euro-commerce, challenged alternative explanations by his contemporaries (notably Gilberto Freyre's celebration of Brazilian cultural hybridity due to the combined effects of miscegenation, a tropical climate and a relatively benign form of slavery). Similarly, Caio Prado's adaptation of classic Marxist theory served as a constant point of reference in the complex development of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB). Political scientist Raimundo Santos's recent biography, Caio Prado Júnior na Cultura Política Brasileira (2001), delves deeply into Caio Prado's intellectual development, bringing this potent and influential thinker into dialogue with contemporary debates within the Brazilian left. 

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