When looked at through the eyes of the inhabitants of Canudos, however, this historical incident lends itself to a bold new interpretation which challenges the traditional polemics on the subject. While the Canudos movement has been consistently viewed either as a rebellion of crazed fanatics or as a model of proletarian resistance to oppression, Levine deftly demonstrates that it was, in fact, neither.
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Vale of Tears probes the reasons for the Brazilian ambivalence toward its social history, giving much weight to the fact that most of the Canudenses were of mixed-race descent. They were perceived as opponents to progress and civilization and, by inference, to Brazil's attempts to "whiten" itself.
As a result there are major insights to be found here into Brazilians' self-image over the past century. Conselheiros Vision. Canudos as a Millenarian Experience.
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The foregoing lines were written with one object in view, namely, to call attention in passing to a certain similarity between the scene in the Rua do Ouvidor and a disturbance in the caatingas, one equaling the other in savagery. Backlands lawlessness was precipitately making its entrance into history; and the Canudos revolt, when all is said, was little more than symptomatic of a malady which, by no means confined to a I have completed the revision and uploaded the new ebook version to Smashwords.
The Vale of Tears: A Novel by James Murphy
I have completed the preparation for the CreateSpace paperback edition, except for the cover. I am having a new cover designed. That should be ready in a few weeks at the latest. I am hoping that the new paperback edition will be available before Christmas. I have trimmed the text and corrected faults of style and language as pointed out by a number of readers who were otherwise generous in their comments.