"From Revolution to Power in Brazil" - A book presentation by author Kenneth P. Serbin

"From Revolution to Power in Brazil" - A book presentation by author Kenneth P. Serbin

"From Revolution to Power in Brazil" - A book presentation by author Kenneth P. Serbin

Date and Time

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Conference Room I

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




“From Revolution to Power in Brazil provides a lavishly detailed chronicle of the guerrillas and revolutionaries who rose to the pinnacle of Brazil’s political system only to fall from grace and find their quest for power questioned by robust institutions. As Brazil grapples once again with threats to its democratic advances, this book is essential reading for understanding how political power functions in Latin America’s largest country.” —Simon Romero, New York Times

From Revolution to Power in Brazil: How Radical Leftists Embraced Capitalism and Struggled with Leadership examines terrorism from a new angle. Kenneth Serbin portrays a generation of Brazilian resistance fighters and militants struggling to rebuild their lives after suffering torture and military defeat by the harsh dictatorship that took control with the support of the United States in 1964, exiting in 1985.

Based on two decades of research and more than three hundred hours of interviews with former members of the revolutionary organization National Liberating Action, Serbin’s is the first book to bring the story of Brazil’s long night of dictatorship into the present. It explores Brazil’s status as an emerging global capitalist giant and its unique contributions and challenges in the social arena.

Published by University of Notre Dame Press (June 2019), the book concludes with the rise of ex-militants to positions of power in a capitalist democracy—and how they confronted both old and new challenges posed by Brazilian society. Ultimately, Serbin explores the profound human questions of how to oppose dictatorship, revive politics in the wake of brutal repression, nurture democracy as a value, and command a capitalist system. This book will be of keen interest to business people, journalists, policy analysts, and readers with a general interest in Latin America and international affairs.

KENNETH P. SERBIN is professor of history at the University of San Diego and author of Needs of the Heart: A Social and Cultural History of Brazil’s Clergy and Seminaries (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006) and Secret Dialogues: Church-State Relations, Torture, and Social Justice in Authoritarian Brazil (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000).

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