1. Lincoln Gordon, interview by John E. Reilly, May 30, 1964, Kennedy Oral His-
tory Project, John F. Kennedy Library.
1. abc is a ring of communities around central São Paulo, including Santo André,
São Bernardo do Campo, and São Caetano do Sul, an important industrial base. It has
relatively high indices of income and literacy and played an important historical role
in Brazil’s modern labor movement.
2. Translator’s note: Nordestino translates directly as “northeasterner,” a word that
in American En glish carries implicit but highly divergent cultural connotations (as
well as referring also to a weather condition). For that reason in the text I have main-
tained the Brazilian Portuguese word nordestino in reference to people from or in
Brazil’s Northeast, while otherwise translating regional references.
3. The June festivals ( festas juninas) derive from the colonial period and are held
at the end of the rain season; the community celebrates the rain, as well as rural life
and values more broadly, with events usually hinging around the Catholic holy days
for Saint John and other saints.
4. Antônio Conselheiro was a religious leader who founded the village of Canudos
in the interior of Bahia state in 1893. Conselheiro’s preaching was often apocalyptical
and in favor of the monarchy. He rejected taxes imposed by the new republic, ulti-
mately making his alternative community a target for military action. He was killed
5. Lampião (1897– 1938) and his companion Maria Bonita (?– 1938) led a band of
outlaws in Brazil’s Northeast in the 1920s and 1930s. His father had been killed by
the police in 1919.
6. Documento Especial, Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão; Programa Legal, Rede
Globo; telenovelas Tieta do Agreste, Pedra sobre Pedra, Renascer, Rede Globo; Globo
Repórter, Rede Globo; Rachel de Queiroz, “Os olhos tortos da mídia,” O Estado do São
Paulo June 17, 1988.
7. Roberto da Matta, O Que Faz o brasil, Brasil?, 13; Dante Moreira Leite, O Caráter
Nacional Brasileiro, 96; Roland Barthes, “A escritura do visível,” in O Óbvio e o Obtuso,
9, and Fragmentos de um Discurso Amoroso, 24.
8. On the relation between power and knowledge see Michel Foucault, História da
Sexualidade 1 (A Vontade de Saber), 88.
9. For more on how I am deﬁ ning power relations see Michel Foucault, Microfísica
do Poder, 209– 28.