Book Review of Rebellion in the Backlands by Euclides da Cunha

Book Review of Rebellion in the Backlands by Euclides da Cunha

Length: 837 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Book Review of "Rebellion in the Backlands"
By Euclides da Cunha

Rebellion in the Backlands is set in the Northeastern backlands of Brazil. It is basically, a historical narration of a period of time (1896 and 1897) where the government of the Republic of Brazil decided to wage war against a religious group of people of about 5000. This group of people, lead by a charismatic religious leader named Antonio Conselheiro, did not accept the Brazilian government as their legitimate government and was therefore deemed a threat to the rest of the country. Some of the members of this rebellion were in fact very aggressive and uncontrollable. Eventually the Brazilian government led an attack on these people launching a battle that lasted almost a year and took the lives of hundreds of Brazilian army soldiers, and thousands of native Brazilian rebels. The poor, native people of the backlands proved impressive opposition and in fact defeated every single force sent against them and even killed the commander of the first expedition. Although, in the end the governments military did prevail over the rural people, and they were all eventually killed. Still, the interesting thing about his book is that it seems to demonstrate that there is more to the story than just a battle lost.
     When I began this assignment, I set out to read each and every page of this book. Unfortunately, it is not an easy book to read and due to time limitations as well as a curiosity to “peek ahead” to further chapters, I was subsequently constrained to skim the entire book. From what I did gather this is a very well written book, incredibly detailed, by someone who is clearly well educated in Latin American History as well as military tactics and it seems as though, geology and geography as well. The amount of imagery and detail that was put into the chapter on land alone was enough to fill it’s own book. “…an unlooked-for picture awaits the traveler … all of which confers upon the landscape in a fuse in a distant and amazing blend of color.” The physical descriptions of the land were beautiful and vivid, but what really interested me was the chapter entitled “Man”.
     Being a psychology major, this was by far my preferred chapter. Here Da Cunha really gets into the meat of the story he is telling about Brazilian history.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Book Review of Rebellion in the Backlands by Euclides da Cunha." 07 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Rebellion for Change

- In life there are many situations where rebellion is required for change and improvement. Some are simple, like growing up and learning not to do certain things and others are more complex like when a group of people stand up for what they believe, for example, women’s rights and black’s rights. I believe that rebellion is healthy for any growing society. There are many things that we do not agree with, whether it is the law or our parent’s instructions. By rebelling we can change our society and/or ourselves for better....   [tags: rebellion, teenagers,]

Research Papers
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Tropicalia as Rebellion Essay

- Tropicalia is not only know as a form of music in Brazil but as a rebellion. Its theme of cultural non conformity was strengthened by the idea that Brazil had lost its way. Tropicalia took a stand against the social and musical hierarchy of Brazil. Though mainly known as a form of Brazilian pop music Tropicalia is deeply rooted in the political and cultural background of Brazil. In 1967 Caetano Veloso felt that the Brazilian Popular Music after the appearance of Bossa Nova eight years prior had run out of energy and creativity....   [tags: Brazilian Music, Rebellion, Culture]

Research Papers
1308 words (3.7 pages)

The Significance of the North West Rebellion Essay

- First Nations The significant societal, economical, and political changes of the First Nations tend to be overlapping and correlational. As political maintenance declines the economy declines, and as the economy declines society crumbles and quality of life declines. While issues in one area cause issues in others it becomes hard to separate what can be solved politically vs. societally. All issues, either with society or politics, cause damage to the First Nations economic situation creating gaping issues with society such as health issues, famine, sheltering, and education....   [tags: rebellion, poundmaker, first nations]

Research Papers
861 words (2.5 pages)

The Whiskey Rebellion Of 1790 Essay

- The Whiskey Rebellion During 1790, the newly born United States government had assumed the debts incurred by the thirteen states during the Revolutionary War. The next year, Congress approved a bill that put an excise tax on “distilled spirits,” called the “Distilled Spirits Tax of 1971.” The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, proposed the bill to help suppress the national debt. The excise tax on distilled spirits was a direct tax on Americans who produced whiskey and other alcohol spirits....   [tags: Whiskey Rebellion, George Washington]

Research Papers
712 words (2 pages)

The Rebellion That Never Happened : A Review Essay

- The Insurrection That Never Happened: A Review In Stephen Nissenbaum’s article, “ An Insurrection That Never Happened: ‘The Christmas Riots’,” he presents a somewhat convincing analysis of the social inequality, lack of government unison, and political movements to prove reconstruction was never completed. He does this by first explaining an example of the christmas riots, then continues to show its relevance and interpret it in the more general history of the time. Nissenbaum states, “The story of the ‘Christmas Riots’ of 1865 is a microcosm of the entire period that became known as reconstruction, the years between 1865 and 1877....   [tags: Ku Klux Klan]

Research Papers
912 words (2.6 pages)

The Stono Rebellion Of 1739 Essay

- The Stono Rebellion of 1739 in many ways can be classified as a mini American Revolution. Instead of Royalists versus Patriots, we have rebellious slaves versus just about everyone else. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact causes but through different accounts and documents we can deduce what or who may have caused the revolt. Based on my previous analysis, I suspected that Spanish influence was at fault but after discovering more accounts I believe it was a combination of outside influence along with lenient regulations that helped raise awareness from slaves....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Rebellion]

Research Papers
914 words (2.6 pages)

The Tonghak Rebellion of 1894 Essay examples

- This summary begins in Korea with the largest peasant rebellion of Korean history: The Tonghak Rebellion of 1894. The Tonghak movment was a new religion beginning in 1860 that opposed Western Culture and supported equality of all people. The Korean government was opposed this religion and tried to shut it down by executing the founder in 1866 but the movement secretly continued. By 1892 and 1893 supporters held great rallies protesting the government efforts to shut down the movement. In February 1894 the disorder stirred up again and spread swiftly....   [tags: largest peasant rebellion of Korean history]

Research Papers
571 words (1.6 pages)

Truancy and Adolescents Rebelllion Essay

- Everyone knows the iconic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the epitome of adolescent rebellion and independence – the benchmark of free-spirited insubordination that lies in the heart of all teenagers. Sure, the movie depicts skipping school as nothing more than a harmless and fun pastime, something that is enjoyable due in large part to its riskiness. But essentially it documents the day of a truant. A truant whose wild antics entertain, but a truant nonetheless. Like most things, Hollywood’s characterization of adolescent truancy is incorrect, not just in the sense that most kids will not be singing in parades whilst cutting class....   [tags: adolescence, rebellion, Ferris Bueller´s Day Off]

Research Papers
1438 words (4.1 pages)

Essay The Boxer Rebellion in China

- The Boxer Rebellion in China “China never wanted foreigners any more than foreigners wanted China men, and on this question I am with the Boxers every time. The Boxer is a patriot. He loves his country better than he does the countries of other people. I wish him success. The Boxer believes in driving us out of his country. I am a Boxer too, for I believe in driving him out of our country” – Mark Twain, Berkeley Lyceum, New York, Nov 23, 1900. The Boxer Rebellion soul purpose was to liberate China from foreign influence....   [tags: Boxer Rebellion Chinese History Essays]

Research Papers
1394 words (4 pages)

Essay on Transnational Networks of Support for the Zapatista Rebellion

- Transnational Networks of Support for the Zapatista Rebellion Globalization, the term used to describe the dominant framework of international relations following the cold war, is affecting many aspects of politics and social experience. This is seen in the Zapatista rebellion and movement in Chiapas, Mexico that has benefited from globalization and transnational support. This paper examines the relationship of transnationalism and social movements with the Zapatistas as a case study....   [tags: Zapatista Rebellion Globalization Essays]

Free Essays
5137 words (14.7 pages)

Related Searches

In this chapter Da Cunha describes the differing types of people, how they interacted, where they came from, some of their beliefs, their views on society and their very own psychology.
He describes Brazilians as “…an abstract type in process of formation … as a result of a more than ordinarily complex intermingling of races.” Just a few of the peoples who’s culture he explores are: the Negro’s (Bantu or Kafir), with strong religious sentiment, the Portuguese (the first settlers), and legitimate pardo (a mixture of Chaffer, Portuguese and Tape Indian), the mulatto, the jaguncos, the influential Jesuits, the vaqueiro, and the sertanejo (the man of the backlands), as well as a barrage of smaller indigenous sects of peoples who among themselves had varying views of the world. He shows that these backlanders were a different race from the other Brazilians who really never knew anything about them. He touches on racial reformation, conflict and also explaines the importance of the land and how it seemd to virtually shape the people and their way of life. In addition he explains important and focal traditional rituals such as hunts, dances, song and even poetry.
     On the other hand, there were some things in this book that were rather hard to identify with and fully understand. There is a certain hint of bias on the part of Da Cunha who seems to favor the militaristic actions taken by the Brazilian government, yet simultaneously showing sympathy and even a bit of admiration towards the native backlanders who display great loyalty to their ideals. Da Cunha both looks down on their illiteracy, superstition and backwardness while grudgingly praising their bravery, allegiance, and cleverness, and this makes the book that much more challenging for me. But the thing that really complicates this book for me is the fact that it’s filled with military terminology, which was quite confusing and uninteresting to an ordinary civilian. There are pages crammed with names of officers, dates, facts, precise battalions, casualties, supply lines, tactics and exact, detailed episodes, as though it were almost a historical textbook. Opening with a description of the topography and the early development of the land which, millions of years later would be the breeding ground of the great rebellion, he continues on with much of the book in this fashion.
     All in all, this book raises many questions that could very well be relevant to our own society today. What is history? How is historical fact perceived? How much do the facts of history depend on cultural preconceptions? All significant ideas that come about from examining provocative and informative books such as this.
Return to