Under the Long Shadow of Getúlio Vargas: A Research Chronicle



The old U.S. National Archives building in Suitland, Maryland is, in some respects, as far from Brazil as one can get. Ironically, it was here, dredging information about Brazilian education in U.S. State Department records, that I found the pamphlet that took me on a surreal journey into the private world of Darcy Vargas and her husband Getúlio, Chefe da Nação (Chief of the Nation). The pamphlet, published in 1942 by the Darcy Vargas Foundation, detailed the work of the Foundation's Casa do Pequeno Jornaleiro (Home of the Paperboy). It was a sort of Boystown for the Rio de Janeiro streetchildren who lived under the awnings of newspaper buildings near the Praça Mauá dockyards and hawked tabloids on streetcorners.

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