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Hard Times in the Marvelous City: From Dictatorship to Democracy in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiroby Bryan Mccann
Synopses & Reviews
Beginning in the late 1970s, activists from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro challenged the conditionsandmdash;such as limited access to security, sanitation, public education, and formal employmentandmdash;that separated favela residents from Rioand#39;s other citizens. The activists built a movement that helped to push the nation toward redemocratization. They joined with political allies in an effort to institute an ambitious slate of municipal reforms. Those measures ultimately fell short of aspirations, and soon the reformers were struggling to hold together a fraying coalition. Rio was bankrupted by natural disasters and hyperinflation and ravaged by drug wars. Well-armed drug traffickers had become the new lords of the favelas, protecting their turf through violence and patronage. By the early 1990s, the promise of the favela residentsand#39; mobilization of the late 1970s and early 1980s seemed out of reach. Yet the aspirations that fueled that mobilization have endured, and its legacy continues to shape favela politics in Rio de Janeiro.
This history explains how and why the favelas of Rio de Janeiro were able to resist demolition in the 1970s but succumbed to the drug wars of the 1980s and 1990s.
About the Author
Bryan McCann is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. He is the author of Hello, Hello Brazil: Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil, also published by Duke University Press, and Throes of Democracy: Brazil since 1989.
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History and Social Science » Latin America » Brazil