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Other Roots, The By Pedro Meira Monteiro

Other Roots, The by Pedro Meira Monteiro

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Other Roots, The Summary

Other Roots, The: Wandering Origins in <i>Roots of Brazil</i> and the Impasses of Modernity in Ibero-America by Pedro Meira Monteiro

First published in 1936, the classic work Roots of Brazil by Sergio Buarque de Holanda presented an analysis of why and how a European culture flourished in a large tropical environment that was totally foreign to its traditions, and the manner and consequences of this development. In The Other Roots, Pedro Meira Monteiro contends that Roots of Brazil is an essential work for understanding Brazil and the current impasses of politics in Latin America. Meira Monteiro demonstrates that the ideas expressed in Roots of Brazil have taken on new forms and helped to construct some of the most lasting images of the country, such as the cordial man, a central concept that expresses the Ibero-American cultural and political experience and constantly wavers between liberalism's claims to impersonality and deeply ingrained forms of personalism. Meira Monteiro examines in particular how cordiality reveals the everlasting conflation of the public and the private spheres in Brazil. Despite its ambivalent relationship to liberal democracy, Roots of Brazil may be seen as part of a Latin Americanist assertion of a shared continental experience, which today might extend to the idea of solidarity across the so-called Global South. Taking its cue from Buarque de Holanda, The Other Roots investigates the reasons why national discourses invariably come up short, and shows identity to be a poetic and political tool, revealing that any collectivity ultimately remains intact thanks to the multiple discourses that sustain it in fragile, problematic, and fascinating equilibrium.

Other Roots, The Reviews

Pedro Meira Monteiro has written an invaluable and very necessary book. Taking Sergio Buarque de Holanda's classic on Brazilian society and culture as a guide, The Other Roots looks into the survival of Buarque's ideas to help illuminate the impasses of Latin American political culture in a densely textured and theoretically acute study. -- Florencia Garramuno, University of San Andres
This is a book by a restless, curious, and erudite thinker who has dedicated himself to reflecting on the seminal work and figure of Sergio Buarque de Holanda. The conversation is so elegantly executed, and the results so ringing, that all emerge transformed: Holanda, Meira Monteiro, and the readers themselves. -- Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, University of Sao Paulo
The Other Roots: Wandering Origins in Roots of Brazil and the Impasses of Modernity in Ibero-America is a highly original and rich study of the main topics and contributions of Sergio Buarque de Holanda's Roots of Brazil. It promotes an essential task, one that not many people undertake: trying to think about Brazil and its culture through its complex links with different intellectual traditions. This explicit, multicultural approach to Brazil is, in my view, a very necessary move for Brazilian studies today. -- Norman Valencia, Claremont McKenna College
The 2012 English translation of the seminal 1936 study by Sergio Buarque de Holanda Roots of Brazil marked a significant year in the international study of the historiography of Brazil. Meira Monteiro studies the history and impact of the Buarque book, and his book is a valuable companion to Roots. -- Choice
In postmodern fashion, Monteiro captures very well how de Holanda's rendering of Brazilian identity as cordiality dwells in the tension between opposites. -- The Review of Politics

About Pedro Meira Monteiro

Pedro Meira Monteiro is professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University. He is the author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books, including a critical edition of Raizes do Brasil.

Additional information

Other Roots, The: Wandering Origins in <i>Roots of Brazil</i> and the Impasses of Modernity in Ibero-America by Pedro Meira Monteiro
University of Notre Dame Press
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