São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, 1998, 283 pp.
Professor Curran’s latest book takes a different tack. Its thesis is that the news stories from Brazil’s literatura de cordel in their entirety comprise a valid and important alternative source for Brazilian history in the twentieth century – not that they are history, but that they are invaluable for the learned historian as one of many sources to write history. The idea is based on Pedro Calmon’s seminal História do Brasil na Poesia do Povo (1929) and a reading of E. Bradford Burns’ and Thomas Skidmore’s classics on Brazilian history. The book was favorably reviewed in Veja and literary supplements in São Paulo and Brasília.