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Schwarcz's work is filled with thoughtful, original analysis, and is characterized by an unusual fearlessness. (Unusual, that is, for a subject so complicated). Reading her is a revelation; it turns out there is a real place hiding under that avalanche of clichés. If you've ever wondered how crushing racism can flourish in a country where, apparently, race itself has been crushed, consider that everything Brazil is defined by—from its "we are all mixed" anthem, to feijoada, capoeira, and candomblé, right down to samba and soccer—is the result of an insidious, revisionist, far-sighted political maneuver of the 1930s, courtesy the combined skills of popular intellectual Gilberto Freyre and populist dictator Getúlio Vargas. The battered body of slave culture was abducted by national culture in order to renew white culture.