Book Reviews : The Politics of Brazilian Development 1930-1954. By JOHN D. WIRTH. (Stan ford: Stanford University Press, 1970. Pp. 278. $7.95.)

Date01 December 1970
AuthorH. Ross Hammond
Published date01 December 1970
Subject MatterArticles
clear how far this is because of economic development or because of the simple
aging to the system, loss of revolutionary dynamism, and dessication of the ideology
which rationalizes purges (a factor neglected by our authors). The elite seems
much more concerned for its own security, which precludes wanton terror, than
with efficiency. But the one common factor in the various manifestations of terror,
the absence of legal restraints on power, remains to temper optimism. Terror was
once used to destroy pluralism, and it could conceivably be applied again to
resubject groups achieving a degree of autonomy or to propel some transformation
the leadership might judge necessary. Return to large-scale terror is improbable
under collective leadership; contrariwise, the emergence of a new personal dicta-
torship would probably imply grand purges. Dallin and Breslauer begin with the
postulate that &dquo;any government will prefer to use more limited or conventional
means to secure its ends,&dquo; show at length that terror is usually a poor means of
securing even narrow regime ends, and conclude, &dquo;Orwell was wrong.&dquo; This seems
based as much upon an optimistic view of human nature as upon the evidence,
which is more persuasive of the rightness of Lord Acton’s dictum about power.
University of California, Santa Barbara
The Politics of Brazilian Development 1930-1954. By JOHN D. WIRTH. (Stan-
ford: Stanford University Press, 1970. Pp. 278. $7.95.)
During the past three years a number of excellent studies have been published
by American scholars on various aspects of Brazilian economic development.
Economists Werner Baer and Judith Tendler have written respectively on the steel
and electric power industries while political scientist Nathaniel Leff has published
books on the capital goods industry and economic policy-making. Writing on the
pre-World War I period historian Richard Graham explains the British impact on
modernization and historian Warren...

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