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Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner. The largest of the Latin American countries is home for the most optimistic of the Latin American peoples. That optimism is shared by many foreigners who have visited or lived there has suggested repeatedly in the literature about Brazil that the giant state of South America is the land of the future the sure thing in the 21st century. But the land does not operate solely on future prospects nor does a people live on optimism alone. A fuller view of the inhabitants of Portugal's gift to the Americas has been set down by hosts a Rodriquez in his book
The Brazilians. Their character and aspirations. A recent publication of the University of Texas press. The author hosts a on auto robbery case is a well-known Brazilian historian who in addition to administering the National Archives and lecturing on diplomatic history in Rio has on occasion graced university life in the United States. Deep seated pride as led many nationals to attempt to describe and interpret the Brazilian character curiosity and uncertainty have encouraged many non Brazilians to do the same thing. In consequence a small mountain of literature has aimed at ripping Brazil apart to scrutinise its components to dissect Brazilians in search of their inner nature. This is searching for the meaning of Brazil and the nature of its people is older
than independent Brazil. A foreigner. The Bavarian botanists fun Martius who spent years there during the 18 Thames sparked this surge when he penned an essay entitled How the history of Brazil should be written. In it he stressed the idea that Brazil's unique quality derives from the cultural fusion of native indian imported African and European settler that keep to Brazil when Marcia insisted it was in the amalgamation of races. That theme ever recurring as it is racial fusion itself was perfected perhaps in go back to for a day's work of 934 Casagrande sim saga which came into the English 12 years later as the Masters and the slaves. But whether or not one latches onto a
dominant theme such as racial fusion the student of the Brazilian be optimistic or pessimistic. Most are the former is forced to wrestle with significant change in the last 150 years in particular. Urbanization and industrialization have changed more than the rural urban balance. They have changed the nature of the people and their aspirations Rodrigue is as he offers his summary of the people and their desires roots his study in history stressing the thought that a society can be understood only through its historical development. For the timeline of History gives a perspective to the interplay between the permanent and the variable between the significant and the insignificant. With this in mind Rodriguez sets
down from yet another copious bit of writing. The view that foreigners have had em presently have of Brazilians next he introduces the views Brazilians have held and presently entertain concerning themselves. Finally then he places these sometimes competing sometimes complimentary assessments of the Brazilian people in relation to the economic and social facts of life. Let's some over simplified formula be entertained such as the thought that all Brazilians are hospitable. Are all Brazilians or sad or all Brazilians or anything else. Rodriguez insists the key to the personality of the Brazilian must be sought among people on the coast in the back country indeed everywhere. It must be distilled from consideration of the European eyes man of culture
the voodoo cult leader the Farmer Labor the tradesmen and many others. In other words Road Rica's aims at serious research not the idle prattle of one given to psychological rumination between cigarettes at the dinner table. Attachment to individual personalities. Rodriguez points out is the dominant feature of Brazilian public and political relations. And this in part is related to the Portuguese heritage fire Enos oratorical gifts a song was voiced personal magnetism and above all the moral indignation routine are the principal resources of the Brazilian political leader most acceptable to the Brazilian voter is the optimistic man the leader who sees development as the main problem. Who confidently promises a quick alleviation of the troubles of the masses. Who shows no
hatred. Who practices no discrimination. If this is everything to everybody complection of the Brazilian politician I suggest that he might be quite at home here in the United States. It possibly follows that problems in politics in large populous countries are sufficiently similar that Johnson and Cooper Scheck and Nixon and the Saturday could change places without ruffling their political natures. In Brazil as in the United States regionalism is a real and significant factor. One variation on that theme found fun Martius putting it this way. In bhaiya the men were to be praised but not the women in Pernambuco. The women were to be praised but not the men. And Insall Paulo both were to be praised any judicious approach to the whole truth about Brazil and
her people must take into account the variations that time has thrust into history along with the variations dictated by the geography of an immense landscape. The following summary suggests that traditionally the Brazilian has had among others these positive characteristics. A lively feeling of nationalism that embraces an awareness of his national heritage the national cohesiveness represented by a common language a political tradition of liberalism and civilian government. This recently in disarray the religious homogeneity made possible by a highly flexible Roman Catholicism race relations of a relatively peaceful nature. The family at the center of social life and a spirit of conciliation which favors compromise and rejects violent measures
to these long term traditional characteristics of a positive kind are to be added some present day positive characteristics among them. These a tendency toward optimistic and bold thought and action all of which produces a spirit of initiative a tendency to dignify labor approving economic endeavor instead of scorning it. And a desire for economic emancipation and social progress including the breakdown of the old hierarchy of socio economic classes so dominant in rural areas. But alongside these positive features old and new in the Brazilian nature are some negative characteristics and as much as the better day and richer life all Brazilians look forward to depends largely upon altering these negative factors. I mention them in greater number if
not greater detail. One remnant of Portuguese conservatism is the tendency to put off until tomorrow what can be done today. A psychological instability attends the struggle between traditions of the old society and elements of the new Brazil. Brazil lacks trained administrators in business and politics. The ratio of adults to youth thrust a tremendous burden upon the rising generation. For example two fifths of the people are less than 15 years of age and four fifth of them are less than 40 years of age administrative corruption and lack of truly representative government. The press many Brazilians public life centers on personalities rather than problems. There is a lack of realism on the part of minorities in power because they do not know all sectors of the city all regions of their country
complexes and prejudices attend ethnic and cultural cross-breeding. Many immigrant settlers present problems and develop complexes because they have not been completely integrated into Brazilian life. A familiar story this that suggests that melting pots are not all they are thought to be. And some Brazilians suffer an alienation akin to cultural expatriation that is a flight from a sense of inferiority and most all Brazilians wage an endless struggle against the state especially against the fiscal policies that regularly devalue the currency. Increase the cost of living and discourage any instinct to save. The belief in luck and gambling is widespread indeed. The Brazilians have not acquired the rational approach and the efficiency required for economic progress. Finally the welfare and educational services leave much
to be desired. One Brazilian in two is illiterate and eloquent but depressing statistic against these positive and negative characteristics in the Brazilian nature are the general aspirations of the nation. Independence sovereignty territorial integrity. Improve communications and transportation. Social justice. Democratic and representative government. Economic development. Universal education. Improved health care. And the more complete integration socially economically and otherwise of all elements of the nation. It all sounds this catalogue of Brazilian aspirations like those of the Philippines of Tanzania
Latin American perspectives
Episode Number
Episode 22 of 39
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Latin American Perspectives. This prog.: The Brazilians: Their Character and Aspirations, published by the U. of Texas Press.
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-32-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:51
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Episode 22 of 39,” 1968-08-10, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives; Episode 22 of 39.” 1968-08-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives; Episode 22 of 39. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from