Photo of College Hall Bell Tower
University News

James Woodard Book Named Outstanding Academic Title of 2020

“Brazil’s Revolution in Commerce” earns designation from American Library Association

Posted in: Homepage News, Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

Professor of History James Woodard

Professor of History James Woodard’s latest book, Brazil’s Revolution in Commerce: Creating Consumer Capitalism in the American Century has been recognized as an “Outstanding Academic Title of 2020” by Choice, a book review service of the American Library Association.

Only about 10% of approximately 6,000 titles reviewed by Choice each year earn the prestigious designation.

“It is gratifying to have this work honored by Choice,” says Woodard. “The book being recognized by Choice means that more college and university libraries will likely acquire it, helping it to reach more readers – including non-librarian readers – which is what any writer hopes for their book. I am very pleased it has received this recognition.”

Published in May, Woodard’s book serves as a history of consumer capitalism in Brazil, today the world’s fifth most populous country. It tells how a new economic outlook took hold over the course of the 20th century, a time when the United States became Brazil’s most important trading partner.

Brazilians saw Chevrolets and Fords replace horse-drawn carriages, cheap roads replace railroads, and the fabric of everyday existence rewoven as commerce reached into the deepest spheres of family life.

By the 1970s, many elements once thought of as American had become Brazilian, and this process illuminates how the culture of consumer capitalism became a more genuinely transnational and globalized phenomenon. It is the untold story of Brazil’s 20th century – that is, until Woodard’s book.

“The making of Brazilian consumer capitalism was, I think, the most salient aspect of the 20th-century entanglings of the United States and Brazil, the two geographic and population giants of the Americas,” says Woodard. “It has shaped the country in so many different ways, and will continue to impact it for years to come.”

For more information on the American Library Association and Choice, visit choice360.org/products/choice-reviews/.