A skillful and persuasive account of the origins of populism, its evolution in the 1930s, and its promotion by Vargas in the 1940s and 1950s. Political claims of the working class proved difficult to reconcile with middle-class interests and military loyalties; populist mobilization created a mass electorate seduced by politicians, in opposition to conservative forces which took control and reformed from the top down. The interaction of these two trends "gave rise to a populist-authoritarian rivalry that is perhaps the most important legacy of the era."
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