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The Evolution of Brazil Compared With That of Spanish and Anglo-Saxon America (Classic Reprint)

The Evolution of Brazil Compared With That of Spanish and Anglo-Saxon America (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Evolution of Brazil Compared With That of Spanish and Anglo-Saxon America

The six lectures included in the present volume were delivered at Leland Stanford Junior University in the autumn of 1912 by Dr. Oliveira Lima under the auspices of the Department of History. To those familiar with the recent contributions of Latin America and, more especially, Brazil, in the field of historical scholarship the distinguished author of these lectures needs no introduction; as historian, essayist and diplomat, he has won a commanding place in the intellectual activities of contemporary Brazil; as a tireless investigator and productive scholar, he has done much to raise the study of South American History to a dignity and importance it had never previously enjoyed.

Manoel de Oliveira Lima was born in Pernambuco, Brazil, December 25, 1865. At the age of twenty he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Lisbon; two years later he embarked upon a diplomatic career of unusual fruitfulness. From 1892 to 1900 he was attache to the Brazilian embassies at Berlin, Washington and London. In 1901 he was appointed minister to Japan; from 1902 to 1913 he represented Brazil in a similar capacity in Peru, Venezuela, Sweden and Belgium, and on various occasions he was intrusted with important foreign missions. In 1913 he withdrew from the diplomatic service to devote his entire time to the prosecution of his historical studies.

While acting as the representative of Brazil, Dr. Lima always interpreted his obligations with much latitude; his conception of the duties of a minister plenipotentiary differed widely from that of a conventional diplomatist. He refused to confine his talents and energies to the usual routine in which fixed conventions, meaningless etiquette and hampering restrictions play such a large part. He conceived it his mission to represent Brazil at her best or not at all. Whether in Tokyo or Brussels, in Caracas or Stockholm, he strove unceasingly to extend a wider and truer knowledge of Brazil; not only the Brazil of the present, with her astounding economic development, but also the Brazil of the past with her rich spiritual heritages, her fine traditions, her inspiring history and literature. In pursuance of this ambitious program he displayed an intellectual activity little short of prodigious.

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