Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. One of the first names I learned when I entered Brazilian history. He was a historian whose books had a worldwide readership. Casa grande e senzala [ The Masters and the Slaves ] was an instant classic. It introduced generations of Brazilians to their colonial past.
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Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. One of the first names I learned when I entered Brazilian history. He was a historian whose books had a worldwide readership. Casa grande e senzala [ The Masters and the Slaves ] was an instant classic. It introduced generations of Brazilians to their colonial past. Subsequent volumes brought them into subsequent decades. His interpretation proved highly controversial in Brazil and elsewhere.
I, along with other readers, have spent many hours studying his work. I owe him a great debt. The first time I met him was late in his career and early in mine. He was passing through New England when I was low on the faculty ladder at Harvard. Perhaps because of my lowly academic status I bungled the effort to book a large enough auditorium for him.
We had to retire to the dining room of an undergraduate residency. The great man was not pleased. But after my embarrassed introduction, he gave an excellent lecture in English in his defense he was gracious to me.
Since I had read accounts of other faces who had visited the spot, I knew the protocol. After we were introduced to his somewhat younger wife, Freyre broke out a set of rather elegant liquor glasses.
We were then to get the standard treatment of being served a succession of exotic and quite potent after-dinner drinks, concocted by the Master himself. We maintained our well-lubricated discussion late into the evening. It was the essential pilgrimage for a young Brazilianist.
I last met him and his wife in a modest restaurant in Rio. He was gracious, as always. Freyre, Gilberto. New York: Knopf, Order and Progress; Brazil from Monarchy to Republic. Gilberto Freyre was born in Recife, Pernambuco. In , he published The Masters and the Slaves, a groundbreaking book that positively analyzed the history of race relations in Brazil and encouraged cultural nationalism.
Freyre pursued an interest in politics as well, serving as a member of Congress in and later supporting the military dictatorship in He received the Machado de Assis Prize in for his distinguished contributions to Brazilian literature. Gilberto Freyre
Sobrados e Mucambos
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