A Present Past: The Brazilian Military Dictatorship and the 1964 Coup (Paperback)

A Present Past: The Brazilian Military Dictatorship and the 1964 Coup By Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta Cover Image
Email or call for price.


An intellectually rigorous history of the 1964 coup in Brazil and its subsequent recasting in the rhetoric of rightwing extremists as a revolution to save the nation from communism.

The 1964 coup and subsequent military dictatorship in Brazil have become common currency in recent public debates in the country. Extreme right-wing groups surrounding Jair Bolsonaro, the president elected in 2018, cherish and celebrate them as marking the defeat of the left and the beginning of a political regime oriented toward “order and progress.” Rodrigo Patto Sá Motto argues that the political project built around Bolsonaro attempts to impose a distorted and Manichean view of recent history, through both discourse and censorship. The author shows how this view recasts the 1964 coup as a “revolution” that saved Brazilians from communism, manipulating history to convince Brazilians that the military were good rulers, an image connecting them to the present, elected authoritarian government.
A Present Past offers a well-rounded approach to the history of the military dictatorship, analyzing the most controversial topics of the current debate. It clarifies the prevailing circumstances during the dictatorship as well as its contemporary legacies. It acts as a corrective against peddlers of fake news and ultra-right negationists, defending rigorous historiography to counter the authoritarian imposition of a historical narrative that supports dictatorship and the coercive rule of its leaders.

About the Author

Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta is associate professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a former president of the Brazilian National Association of History. He is the author of On Guard Against the Red Menace: Anticommunism in Brazil.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781789761573
ISBN-10: 1789761573
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Publication Date: November 5th, 2022
Pages: 240