Amy Chazkel’s Laws of Chance explores the rise of a cultural phenomenon that has engrossed the Brazilian imaginary since the turn of the twentieth century: the lottery game jogo do bicho. Its multifaceted analysis ties the “animal game” to the rise of urbanization, consumer capitalism, positivist criminology, and the cash economy in the First Republic (1889-1930).
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In only a few decades during the seventeenth century, the Spanish American colonial city of Potosí, in modern-day Bolivia, grew from a small settlement to a metropolis of almost 200,000. With twice the total population of all of Britain’s North American colonies, Potosí became one of the largest cities in the Americas despite being at an elevation of over 13,000 feet.
Brodwyn Fischer’s A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-Century Rio de Janiero explores the heterogeneous class of the urban poor in Brazil’s national capital from 1920 to 1950.
At the center of the book are the favelas, Rio’s infamous shantytowns, where the majority of the urban poor resided.
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