Dreams of Dictatorship and the Nightmare of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro

A collection of essays titled In Spite of You: Bolsonaro and the New Brazilian Resistance edited by Conor Foley, a professor of Law and International Relations at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, was published by OR Books in 2019. Foley told the Humanist there were two urgent goals for the book, which was conceived and published within a span of only five months.

First, to “tell an English-speaking audience what had actually happened in 
Brazil, to contextualize Bolsonaro’s victory and discuss its significance.” Second, “to give a voice to those involved in the fight against him: political activists such as Dilma Rouseff and Fernando Haddad, feminists such as Marcia Tiburi, and others in the anti-racist movement, land rights and indigenous rights activists, human rights campaigners, and those working for justice reform.”

The book’s title was inspired by the protest song “Apesar de Você” (“In spite of you” when translated from Portuguese into English) by Brazilian musician and poet Chico Buarque. The song criticizes the country’s military dictatorship, the same regime Bolsonaro so fondly reminisces about.

“[‘Apesar de Você’] became a rallying cry for the campaign for the return of democracy, and its message of defiance—in spite of you there will be another day—seemed appropriate to the mood of the time that we were thinking about producing the book,” Foley says.

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