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Brazilian Propaganda: Legitimizing an Authoritarian Regime

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Pages: 224

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: University Press of Florida (30 July 2014)

By: Nina Schneider (Author)

In Brazilian Propaganda, Nina Schneider examines the various modes of official, and unofficial, propaganda used by an authoritarian regime.

Such propaganda is commonly believed to be political, praising military figures and openly legitimizing state repression. However, Brazil’:s military dictatorship (1964–:1985) launched seemingly apolitical official campaigns that were aesthetically appealing and ostensibly aimed to “:enlighten”: and “:civilize.”: Some were produced as civilian-military collaborations and others were conducted by privately owned media, but undergirding them all was the theme of a country aspiring to become a developed nation.

Focusing primarily on visual media, Schneider demonstrates how many short films of the period portrayed a society free from class and racial conflicts. These films espoused civic-mindedness while attempting to distract from atrocities perpetuated by the regime.

Mining a rich trove of materials from the National Archives in Rio and conducting interviews with key propagandists, Schneider demonstrates the ambiguities of twentieth-century Brazilian propa-ganda. She also challenges the notion of a homogeneous military regime in Brazil, highlighting its fractures and competing forces. By analysing the strategy, production, mechanisms, and meaning of these films and reconstructing their effects, she provides an alternative interpretation of the propagandists’: intentions and a new framework for understanding this era in Brazil’:s history.

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