"A much-needed full-length portrait of the latest South American political phenomenon. Timely reading for anyone seeking to understand Brazil's newest experiment in democracy."Thomas E. Skidmore, author of Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964: An Experiment in Democracy
"President Lula is perhaps the most elusive figure to have reached the top of Brazilian politics, and Richard Bourne's fine study of the man and his background is a well-researched and illuminating report. This is a trenchant, warts-and-all account of Lula's career, charting his rise from leftist, trade union activism to moderate statesmanship of a familiar Brazilian pattern.
In spite of damaging incidents of political corruption, analyzed here in critical detail, Bourne explains convincingly how Lula's unusual popular touch, coupled with his astute manipulation of the existing political system, enabled him to outshine his rivals and win two election victories."Richard Gott, author of Cuba: A New History and Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution
"Lula is the most important leader of the new, democratic Latin American left, in stark contrast with old-style caudillos who pretend to be something new. This biography traces Lula's long road to power back to his poor origins in the backlands of Northeastern Brazil to the periphery of São Paulo, South America's industrial powerhouse, where he became the main union leader in the fight against the military dictatorship. Then he created the PT (Workers' Party) and changed the history of the Latin American left. It is an essential reading for anyone interested in Latin America's new left and the emergence of Brazil as a regional power, and maybe in the future a world power." -Nelson Franco Jobim, journalist and lecturer