Lula and the Workers Party in Brazil

A new edition examining the electoral victory and record of the left government in Latin America’s largest country

“Look, my friend. I don’t speak the language here, I’ve got no money, the food stinks, there’s no rice, no beans. I’d rather be arrested in Brazil than stay in this dump of a country.” —Lula, the new Brazilian president, on being advised to stay in the United States after his brother’s arrest for political activity in Brazil, 1975

In October 2002, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made history when he became Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader since Salvador Allende. Lula and his Workers Party won comfortably with nearly 62 percent of Brazil’s popular vote. This book tells the story of the Workers Party’s origins and electoral history, outlining the key politicians behind it and the riveting story of their four successive tries for power. It features an exclusive postelection interview with Lula that charts his extraordinary life story, rising from poverty, through decades of struggle in the country’s union movement, to increasing political influence and eventual victory.

With unparalled access to Lula over the first two years of his administration, the authors have updated the book to include an analysis of his early attempts at social reform, his growing leadership on the international stage, and his response to charges of abandoning the Left of his own party and the hopes of his staunchest supporters.


“Brazil is now the scene of a dramatic confrontation of major tendencies of current history. . . . This fine book records the conflict . . . with insight and understanding.”
—Noam Chomsky
“Lula’s victory, and the social movements that helped make it possible, are among the most stirring developments in Latin America since the election of Salvador Allende.”
—Tom Hayden
“An important contribution to understanding how one of the world’s leading pro-labor and democratic political movements came to power in Latin America’s largest nation.”
—Linda Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO

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