We Cannot Remain Silent


We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States
James N. Green
2010, Duke University Press
450 pages

GIVEN the role played by the US in the Brazilian coup of 1964, it is only appropriate that a comprehensive picture of the relationship between the two countries explores subsequent opposition within the US itself to the military regime that remained in power for a further 21 years. James Green’s research reveals both how a transnational human rights lobby developed, and also the degree to which political and cultural resistance in the US came to influence policy in both countries. The author does not shrink from confronting the issue of the torture and political killings carried out by the regime, and their impact upon the opposition to military rule in the US and elsewhere. This is an important book, providing empirical detail to support the argument that US pluralism can be a force for good in Latin America and to test the notion of hegemonic power, but also offering a strategic source of inspiration for activists today who are concerned about Washington’s foreign policy interventions elsewhere and how powerless they may be. Green provides a very necessary corrective to sweeping statements about the malevolent role the US may have played in the region, by demonstrating through meticulous research and fascinating personal stories how ordinary, modest Americans driven by a strong moral imperative and unwilling to remain silent about oppression made a profound difference. – GO’T

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