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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2014
Print publication year:
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Book description

This book argues that Dutch Brazil (1624–54) is an integral part of Atlantic history and that it made an impact well beyond colonial and national narratives in the Netherlands and Brazil. In doing so, this book proposes a radical shift in interpretation. The Dutch Atlantic is widely perceived as an incongruity among more durable European empires, whereas Brazil occupies an exceptional place in the history of Latin America, which leads to a view of Dutch Brazil as self-contained and historically isolated. The Legacy of Dutch Brazil shows that repercussions of the Dutch infiltration in the Southern Hemisphere resonated across the Atlantic Basin and remained long after the fall of the colony. By examining its regional, national, and cosmopolitan legacies, thirteen authors trace the memories and mythologies of Dutch Brazil from the colonial period up until the present day and engage in broader debates on geopolitical and cultural changes at the crossroads of Atlantic and Latin American studies.


'Dutch Brazil has languished at historiographic margins, self-contained and poorly integrated into the history of Latin America or the Atlantic world. This exemplary interdisciplinary collection recasts the history of this fascinating time and place. With its meticulous scholarship, Atlantic perspective, heterogeneous chapters, and lengthy bibliography, The Legacy of Dutch Brazil is a timely book of lasting value.'

Alison Games - Georgetown University

'During their seventeenth-century golden age, the Dutch presided for a time over a wholly exceptional colonial society based on the region around Recife in northeast Brazil, which has almost invariably been underestimated by general historians of the early modern Atlantic world. This is because that society lasted barely thirty years from 1624 to 1654. But despite its short duration, Dutch Brazil left an enduring legacy and was remarkable in many ways, and not least for the unrivaled degree of religious mixing and toleration that it permitted, allowing a coexistence of churches, religions, and cultural systems that was then unique in the Americas. Expertly introduced and edited by Michiel van Groesen, this thoroughly up-to-date collection of essays containing much that is new and unfamiliar provides the best overview we have of a legacy that is increasingly coming to be valued at its true worth.'

Jonathan Israel - Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton

'… provocatively written, expertly edited papers … highly recommended …'

Source: Choice

‘The Legacy of Dutch Brazil tries to answer questions about why Brazil persisted in the colonial imagination and how its mythologies emerged in different times, shapes and places … The book tells the compelling story of an Atlantic and European legacy of the West India Company colony in Brazil. It is clearly positioned within a historiographical lacuna of neglected cultural connections and that of Dutch Brazil in particular.'

Joris van den Tol Source: Itinerario

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