The Presidential Elections of Trump and Bolsonaro, Whiteness, and the Nation is a sociological analysis of the similarities between the elections of Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, based on biographies, academic sources, newspaper, television, and reports published in the United States and Brazil between 2014 and 2021.
Vânia Penha-Lopes is professor of sociology at Bloomfield College and co-chair of the Brazil Seminar at Columbia University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Race, the Media, and the Far Right in the United States and Brazil
Chapter 1: Whiteness and the Idea of Nation in the United States
Chapter 2: Whiteness and the Idea of Nation in Brazil
Chapter 3: “Make America Great Again”: Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign
Chapter 4: Donald Trump’s Presidential Victory
Chapter 5: “Make Brazil Great Again”: Jair Bolsonaro’s Presidential Campaign
Chapter 6: “Brazil above All and God Above Everything”: Jair Bolsonaro’s Presidential Victory
Conclusion: Mr. Bolsonaro Goes to Washington
Using extensive media and online accounts as well as secondary academic sources, Penha-Lopes fortifies the frequent media observations of similarities between former US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed “Trump of the tropics,” with sound analytic and empirical grounding…. With its highly readable description of two traumatic presidential elections won by outlandish and disruptive leaders, this comparison serves well as an informative, thought-provoking entrée into the contemporary challenge of rising authoritarianism.Recommended. General readers through faculty.
"Vânia Penha-Lopes has performed a service for all of us. Viewed in isolation, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro could appear to be entirely idiosyncratic. Each is a larger-than-life figure with a unique persona, bordering on the cartoonish. Neither is readily intelligible outside his own distinctive context. Yet, as Penha-Lopes shows with nuance and sociological flair, Trump and Bolsonaro are, in fact, representative figures. Beneath the trademarked recklessness of their far-right personas is a long, reptilian history of White supremacism, of which they are the latest incarnations. What does White supremacism look like in extremis, when it has been fiercely challenged? Look no farther than Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro -- and the parallel constituencies and histories they reflect, which Vânia Penha-Lopes brings to vivid life."
The United States exports over two trillion dollars' worth of goods and services each year, from food, oil and cars to franchises like Harry Potter, James Bond and Marvel. But we now have an export that reflects a unique moment in American history; Trumpism. This political philosophy is a mixture of White nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia, and a distaste for the rule of law and democratic institutions. The newest importer of this style of Trumpism governance is Brazil’s now President Jair Messias Bolsonaro. Positioning himself as an anti-establishment candidate who would “Make Brazil Great Again” (where did you hear that first?) Bolsonaro stole Trump’s play book and road on to become president of Brazil. Professor Penha-Lopes The Presidential Elections of Trump and Bolsonaro, Whiteness, and the Nation is a perfectly timed, smart and accessible treatise on the social and economic conditions on how these autocrats came to power, the role of White nationalism in both campaigns, the damage they have inflicted each countries’ democratic institutions and their collective failure to manage the COVID pandemic. This book should be required reading for anyone who is interested in politics, race relations, the rise of White nationalism and the ways that autocrats can rise to power by fashioning themselves as populist outsiders.
Race relations in Brazil and the United States have been premised on White supremacy. Yet, Brazil’s racial democracy ideology historically helped gloss over this fact given the somewhat more veiled racial discrimination in Brazil compared to the more explicit White supremacism that underpinned legalized segregation in the United States. The elections of Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro are game changers in that regard. Trump has brought about a resurgence in White supremacy long thought to have vanished in the US with the formal dismantling of segregation and implementation of civil rights and other initiatives in the latter half of the twentieth century. Jair Bolsonaro has brought White supremacy out in the open and sought a return to the racial democracy ideology in a way not seen in Brazil since the military dictatorship in the 1960s after the subsequent return to democratic rule as well as initiatives to address the very real racial inequality that exist in Brazil. This book provides a masterful comparative analysis of these fateful and not surprisingly intertwined developments, including their implications for race relations and antiracist organizing, by extension, in both countries.
10/26/22, Choice Reviews: This book was featured in a roundup of the best titles for two-year colleges.