The Deepest Wounds: A Labor and Environmental History of Sugar in Northeast Brazil

Univ of North Carolina Press
Free sample

In The Deepest Wounds, Thomas D. Rogers traces social and environmental changes over four centuries in Pernambuco, Brazil's key northeastern sugar-growing state. Focusing particularly on the period from the end of slavery in 1888 to the late twentieth century, when human impact on the environment reached critical new levels, Rogers confronts the day-to-day world of farming--the complex, fraught, and occasionally poetic business of making sugarcane grow.

Renowned Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, whose home state was Pernambuco, observed, "Monoculture, slavery, and latifundia--but principally monoculture--they opened here, in the life, the landscape, and the character of our people, the deepest wounds." Inspired by Freyre's insight, Rogers tells the story of Pernambuco's wounds, describing the connections among changing agricultural technologies, landscapes and human perceptions of them, labor practices, and agricultural and economic policy. This web of interrelated factors, Rogers argues, both shaped economic progress and left extensive environmental and human damage.

Combining a study of workers with analysis of their landscape, Rogers offers new interpretations of crucial moments of labor struggle, casts new light on the role of the state in agricultural change, and illuminates a legacy that influences Brazil's development even today.

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About the author

Thomas D. Rogers is assistant professor of Africana studies and Latin American studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Univ of North Carolina Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780807899588
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Latin America / South America
Political Science / Labor & Industrial Relations
Science / Environmental Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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