“All for São Paulo, All for Brazil”: Vargas, the Paulistas, and the Historiography of Twentieth-Century Brazil
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In the ten years since the last decimal-divisible anniversary of Vargas’s pajama-clad martyrdom, scholarly understanding of the mid-twentieth century—the so-called “Vargas Era”—has advanced markedly. We now know a great deal more about these decades, including about issues that historians in Vargas’s day would have never thought to inquire of. New getuliana arrives in bookstores every year; while the 1995 publication of Vargas’s long-lost diary (or, more accurately, diaries) of the years 1930–42 stands out as the most spectacular example of this kind of material, there exists a great deal more that should be of interest to scholars and nonspecialists alike. Entries in the 2001 edition of the multivolume biographical dictionary published by the Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil now allow us to trace the lives of all but the youngest of Vargas’s contemporaries on through to their respective eternal rewards. CPDOC itself, as the research institution that serves as repository of Vargas’s papers, regularly elicits the benediction “primeiro mundo” from admiring visitors. And while we still lack a first-rate life-and-times of the man himself, we have been given an idea of what one might look like in Fernando Morais’s 1994 biography of media magnate Assis Chateaubriand, arguably the second-most-important civilian figure in the pantheon of Brazilian public life during these years.1
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