CV- Getúlio - 1882-1930, Dos anos de formação à conquista do poder, by Lira Neto, comments by André Bandeira

This is the biography (first of three volums) of Getúlio Vargas, the brazilian dictator, between 1930 and 1945. The author cultivates the detail. And many details remain undeciphered because the character was ambivalent. The trend is one of Boris Fausto, probably the most prestigious contemporary historian of Brazil and, with such degree of detail, it tends to leave Brazil in a kind of self-generated limbo, the teophany of specialists and experts. But it is interesting how the book characterizes a typical Rio Grande man, by the way, descendant of azorean Portuguese, both by mother and father. I doesn't matter that his parents reunited the rival monarchist and republican parties of Rio Grande do Sul where the specifity of a «self-generated Brazil» is completely punctuated by south-american culture (and there it goes away the specifity of Brazil). The book, besides its journalistic/forensic erudition, is very informative: GetúlioVargas demonstrates in the periphery of a world system (as the marxist Immanuel Wallerstein put it), how communist and fascist ideas were proxy. But this was long ago and Wallerstein, for the sake of an always updated rationalism, would shout «foul!». If in fact the doctrines were so similar, it is because they were smoke-screening something else. But all these details, which make out of the book, almost a Ernest Ludwig's interview, don't cast away the smog. Once the buzz has been subdued, communism and fascism were just an industrial superb device for a revengeful mentallity such as the one of «Buddha Getúlio». His self-control was much better than his napoleonic energy, or his mediterranean prudence. In a post-modern purgatory, where Althusser commanded us to analyse the production of ideas, we see that Vargas follows an authoritarian brutality lineage which dismounted monarchy and gave room for a never-ending chase for nobility and recognition, they called Republic. This is the sudden illumination of Chaim, which saw he could slain a brother and still survive under the skies, someone called later «positivism», no matter it became followed up by communist or fascist doctrine. Getúlio's arts in keeping afloat with his silences, his enygmas, his little-people charm, his smile, and an enormous network of devices, as a matter of fact, reminds me more of a puffy guru than one of a genuine Buddha. Getúlio Vargas was a very fashionable man and his charm holds on. No, not because of his labor policies -- he didn't have the experience of Mussolini. But because, in such pristine violence he muddled through, Vargas had something of a buddistic lightness, if not divine cynicism. And if his background was brutal, no wonder the way he died. The same buddistic excuses are very much in fashion in modern West. As a matter of fact, as if it were a kind of sign, the author reminds us that Vargas, only recently was brought back to the national Pantheon.