July 14, 2015

Book, "The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy" By Ronald H. Chilcote

The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy 
By Ronald H. Chilcote

Building on decades of research, leading scholar Ronald H. Chilcote provides a definitive analysis of the 1974–1975 Portuguese revolution, which captured global attention and continues to resonate today. His study revisits a key historical moment to explain the revolution and its aftermath through periods of authoritarianism and resistance as well as representative and popular democracy. Exploring the intertwined themes of class, state, and hegemony, Chilcote builds a powerful framework for understanding the Portuguese case as well as contemporary political economy worldwide.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 344 • Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-6792-4 • Hardback • February 2010 • $94.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7425-6793-1 • Paperback • August 2012 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7425-6794-8 • eBook • January 2010 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Subjects: History / Europe / Spain & Portugal

What People Are Saying About This Book:

This book interprets the Portuguese revolution of 1974–75 and emphasizes its significance as a political and economic rapture. It describes the events leading up to the coup of April 25, 1974, the coup itself, the role of the Armed Forces Movement (MFA), subsequent institutional conflict among the MFA and the political parties including the Portuguese Communist Party, and the impact of labor unions and new popular and social movements. Advancing a class theory of the state, Chilcote (Univ. of California, Riverside) argues the November 25, 1975, countercoup ended prospects for any socialist transition and ensured the state's control over the eventual consolidation of capitalism and parliamentary democracy. He believes Portugal's revolution failed for many reasons, including the country's conservative nature, its traditionally weak proletariat, and a lack of an independent workers' movement under the António Salazar/Marcelo Caetano regime. Chilcote's key argument, however, is that the continuity of the state throughout Portugal's uneven movement from authoritarianism to liberal democracy best explains the revolution's political and economic outcomes. This analysis is well grounded in extensive archival research, numerous interviews of the revolution's participants, and a careful reading of the academic literature's vast coverage of the topic. Summing Up: Recommended.

Ronald Chilcote’s The Portuguese Revolution is an outstanding analysis of the political economy, state formation, and emergence of capitalism in Portugal. . . . It is also a pivotal study that will generate significant comparative interest, not least because the concern with the delays and advances of bourgeois revolution in Portugal has clear import to cases of state formation across European and postcolonial contexts.
— Bulletin of Latin American Research

[An] important new work. . . . Chilcote has not only presented a wealth of information including the debates inside and outside of Portugal on the events of 1974–75 and their impact but also a model of how to analyze the dynamics of revolutionary struggle in the context of an enduring yet changing political economy.
— Rosemary Galli, author of Peoples' Spaces and State Spaces: Land and Governance in Mozambique; World Tensions

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