What does Brazil’s lurch to the hard right under Jair Bolsonaro portend for Latin America’s most populous society, and how has it come about?
Perry Anderson, foremost observer of the Brazilian scene in the English-speaking world, offers a matchless account of the country’s recent political upheavals: after the dashed hopes of the Cardoso years, the soaring popularity of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; the parliamentary coup d’état against his successor, Dilma; and the sweeping election victory of Bolsonaro, backed by the Armed Forces and a youthful new right.
Always something of a world unto itself, under the Workers’ Party, Brazil had bucked the global trend towards a tighter neoliberalism. With its lodestar, Lula, now behind bars, a weighing up of the PT’s legacy, and of the contrasting Bolsonaro regime, is urgently needed.
“One of the world’s great historians, unrivalled in his ability to master and synthesize vast historical literatures.”