Nelson Werneck Sodré

Nelson Werneck Sodré/ Art by Marcelo Lima Guimarães

By JOÃO QUARTIM DE MORAES & Francisco Quartim de Moraes*

Entry of “Dictionary Marxism in America"

Life and political praxis

Son of Heitor de Abreu Sodré, a lawyer from a family of impoverished coffee farmers, and Amélia Werneck Sodré, of the same social origin, Nelson Werneck Sodré (1911-1999) revealed a taste for reading from an early age. It was at home, before starting to attend public school, in Muda da Tijuca (Rio de Janeiro), that he felt motivated by the “deep desire to learn to read”.

Concerned about his son's professional future, his father approved his admission to the Military College in 1924. Also precocious in writing, in 1929 he published his first short story – in the magazine O Cruzeiro.

In 1930, Nelson Werneck Sodré entered the Realengo Military School, where he graduated at the end of 1933, beginning his career as an Army officer as an aspirant. Later, he would evoke in one of his autobiographical writings the “stormy period” Brazil went through during the final years of his childhood and youth, marked by the tenentista movement, the agony of the oligarchic Republic, modernism in literature and the arts and the Revolution of 1930.

Political storms continued during the first years of his official activity: the Communist Uprising of 1935; and the Estado Novo dictatorship, established by Getúlio Vargas in 1937. However, this did not prevent him from assuming his military duties responsibly, which inspired confidence among colleagues and hierarchical superiors.

In 1934, the newspaper Paulista Post Office, with whom he had collaborated since 1931, invited him to practice literary criticism – a task he would carry out for the next quarter of a century. In 1937, after serving in military units in São Paulo, he was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, where he came into contact with some of the most important Brazilian writers of the time – from exponents of the left field, such as Graciliano Ramos and Samuel Weiner, on the right, like Oliveira Viana and Azevedo Amaral.

In 1941, he started writing for the newspaper The state of Sao Paulo, as well as for Political Culture – theoretical magazine linked to the dictatorial regime. Later, Nelson Werneck Sodré would claim that, although he was politically “alienated” at the time, he did not write articles that could sound like flattery to the Estado Novo; In that context, Vargas sought to regroup intellectuals of various ideological tendencies around his national project – from Gilberto Freyre and Azevedo Amaral to Álvaro Vieira Pinto and Graciliano Ramos, committed to studying Brazilian society and culture in an innovative way.

Transferred in 1942 to an artillery group in Bahia, Nelson Werneck Sodré soon became closer to the nucleus of communist intellectuals who worked there. Although he took his military career seriously, he avoided letting it interfere with his political conscience and action. This approach continued towards the positions and struggles that would establish him as an important expression of Brazilian Marxism. Due to the Estado Novo's persecution of members of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCB), his formal party membership remained confidential.

In 1943, the thesis that Brazil should participate directly in World War II operations in Europe, defended by Oswaldo Aranha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, gained strength at the Estado Novo summit, overcoming the reluctance of generals Gaspar Dutra and Góes Monteiro – two of the main military leaders. On July 2, 1944, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) embarked for Italy.

Convinced that the dictatorial regime of the Estado Novo was no longer sustainable, Getúlio Vargas enacted on February 28, 1945 a constitutional law calling general elections for December 2, reestablishing some powers to Congress and setting parameters for the reform of the Constitution. On April 18, 1945, a general amnesty for political prisoners paved the way for the return of communists to the national political scene. On May 15, Getulista unionists formed the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB). Nelson Werneck Sodré closely followed this democratic turn, as he had settled in Rio de Janeiro since 1944, to follow the course at the General Staff School (which he completed in 1946, receiving the rank of major and the position of professor of Military History in the same school).

The unionized masses, in increasing mobilization, defended the convening of a Constituent Assembly “with Getúlio”. The communists too: in successive rallies, Prestes, finally free after nine years in prison, announced his support for the government. The popular prestige that the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) conferred on Getúlio frightened the liberal bourgeoisie, the conservative right and the American Embassy. Generals Dutra and Góes Monteiro (who eight years earlier supported the establishment of the dictatorship) were responsible for mounting the coup that would depose Getúlio in October 1945. A provisional government granted constituent powers to Congress to be elected in December. Nelson Werneck Sodré, critical of the Estado Novo, but in favor of the “Constituent Assembly with Getúlio”, saw the liberal coup as the establishment of a military device that, still under democratic formalism, protected the conservative forces and allowed them to control the situation.

In the December 1945 elections, the elections for the presidency of the republic were contested by General Gaspar Dutra, candidate of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), made up mainly of political leaders who collaborated with the Getúlio government, and by Brigadier Eduardo Gomes launched by the Union National Democracy (UDN), which brought together the anti-Getulist and pro-American liberal right. The PTB supported the PSD candidate, who was elected. However, Dutra, after garnering Getulista votes, allied himself with Gomes and the UDN, forming what Nelson Werneck Sodré called a “military consulate”, which treated labor as an enemy, treated popular mobilization as a matter for the police and, evoking the hatred of the “Cold War”, he put pressure on the Judiciary and Congress until he managed to get them to revoke the registration of the PCB, as well as the mandates of Prestes in the Senate and of all communists elected in 1946.

It was in this environment, especially difficult for an active military member, that Nelson Werneck Sodré consolidated his link with the PCB (again illegally). Of course, he could not make his party commitment public, but in 1950 he agreed to join the ticket led by General Newton Estillac Leal, a veteran lieutenant and left-wing nationalist, winner of the dispute for the presidency of the Military Club. Nelson Werneck Sodré, who was already considered the main theoretician of the military left, took over the direction of the Club's Cultural Department, whose magazine became the tribune of officers who supported an independent foreign policy and social reforms – officers who, in addition to being nationalists, were anti -imperialists.

The standard procedure for curtailing the activities of politically uncomfortable officers was to move them to garrisons far from the capital; in 1951, Nelson Werneck Sodré was sent to Cruz Alta, in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul. In isolation, Sodré took advantage of his stay to deepen his reading and writing.

In 1955, he returned to Rio de Janeiro in a turbulent political environment. The anti-labor right had never accepted Getúlio's unquestionable victory in the October 1950 presidential election; he cornered him to the point of suicide (in 1954), but without managing to prevent the victory of Juscelino Kubitschek and João Goulart in the 1955 presidential elections. In that clash, Carlos Lacerda and Colonel Mamede were the “shock anti-communists”, that is, conservative leaders who openly preached a coup to prevent elected officials from taking office; however, they were contained by General Teixeira Lott, Minister of War (and defender of legality). On November 11, in a lightning-fast operation, Lott dismantled the ongoing coup created by the UDN.

A period of intense activity then opened for Nelson Werneck Sodré. The persecutions he had been suffering were interrupted by the new government, in which Lott was returned to the position of Minister of War. Already recognized as one of the most important critical intellectuals in the country and a great expert on national problems, the communist was invited to join the recently created Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros (ISEB), in which he had an outstanding performance.

In 1960, Jânio Quadros, the right-wing candidate for president, defeated Lott, the nationalist and left-wing candidate – but he resigned untimely from his position the following year. Then, a coup military junta tried to prevent the inauguration of his legitimate successor, vice João Goulart. An agreement avoided the confrontation: Goulart assumed the presidency, but his duties were limited by an improvised parliamentary regime. Meanwhile, by having supported the resistance to the coup, Nelson Werneck Sodré had once again turned the reactionary leadership of the Army against himself; like Lott and other military loyalists, he was arrested.

In 1961, after realizing that the persecutions would not end, Nelson Werneck Sodré requested a transfer to the Army reserve with the rank of brigadier general. Since then, he has focused on his work as a writer, as a professor at ISEB and as a militant communist intellectual.

A little later, the 1964 coup plotters, settling old scores, imprisoned him for two months in the Copacabana Fort; His rights were revoked, his books banned and removed from bookstores. Despite this, Nelson Werneck Sodré continued writing until the end of his long life. In the years following the coup, until the end of the decade, he published nine important books – on topics such as Marxist philosophy and the formation of the Brazilian economy, as well as a history of the press.

In the 1970s, he had seven books published – covering everything from the history of national culture to political and intellectual history. In the following decade, he continued to be prolific, writing ten books, including History and historical materialism in Brazil (1985). Finally, in the last decade of his life, he released five works, such as The farce of neoliberalism (1995)

Although he devoted himself primarily to the elaboration of his vast work – which would give him a prominent position in Brazilian Marxism –, the author maintained constant contact with his fellow nationalists and communists in the Army, impeached by the coup plotters of 1964. Alongside one of his most faithful friends, Colonel Kardec Leme, veteran of the FEB and communist militancy, he participated, since the founding, in 1983, of the Democratic and Nationalist Association of Military Personnel (ADNAM) – a courageous attempt to reintroduce progressive ideas into officialdom. His apartment, on Rua Dona Mariana, in Botafogo (Rio de Janeiro), was a reference for intellectuals and political leaders on the national-democratic and labor left.

Discreet by temperament and lifestyle, Nelson Werneck Sodré remained lucid until the last days of his life – in Itu, a city in São Paulo where he maintained family ties. He continued working when he was admitted to Santa Casa de Itu, on January 11, 1999, for an operation that he did not survive, dying two days later.

Contributions to Marxism

Sodré left us a treasure of ideas that were incorporated into the theoretical heritage of Marxist culture in Brazil. His vast work stands out for the solidity of its historical foundation, for the concrete analysis of problems and situations, for the attention to the most diverse and contradictory aspects and dimensions of Brazilian reality, as well as for its objectivity, expressed in the commitment to submit concepts and explanatory hypotheses to the facts. His thinking, forged by a lucid and constant interest in the destiny of the nation, was deeply patriotic, but for this very reason he maintained a critical eye on the ills and miseries that hampered Brazilian society.

Along with knowledge of the social history of humanity, Marxist theory provided him with a critical method of analysis – relying on materialist dialectics to understand the particularities and contradictions of Brazilian society and culture.

He dedicated many books to the formation and evolution of the Brazilian economy from colonial plantations to the rise of neoliberalism at the end of the 20th century. The theoretical categories of his explanation come from historical materialism: always supported by abundant documentation, he describes the dominant modes of production at each stage of national history, analyzing the social conditions in which they were established and developed, as well as the complex of interests of class to which they corresponded.

The debate between Nelson Werneck Sodré, whose central theme is the study of the internal dynamics of the Brazilian economy, and Caio Prado Júnior, for whom the forces and relations of production established here are mainly effects of the “colonial system”, is well known. Caio Prado gives more importance to the insertion of the colonial economy in the international market, which leads him to maintain that Brazil has “participated since its beginnings” in the international mercantile system; with this, he proposes to merge the circulation of goods with social production in his analyses.

However, in the spirit of materialist dialectics, it is necessary to observe other points of view, such as that of Sodré, who showed how the circulation of goods reacted on their productive bases. To overcome low agrarian productivity and the narrowness of feudalism, the Portuguese participated extensively in the expansion of European trade during the final centuries of the Middle Ages and then took the initiative in the great oceanic navigations that gave rise to the colonial system of the Modern Era. . The sailors who were protagonists of these audacious initiatives and the financiers who invested their money in them received decisive support from the monarchy. Precociously centralized because of the wars against the Moors, relying on the feudal nobility on the one hand, and on mercantile interests on the other, the Portuguese State became the major contractor of the colonial business.

It was in this way that, responding to the increase in demand for sugar, a spice that was then rare in Europe, Portugal encouraged the entry into the productive sphere of mercantile capital that until then had been used in maritime trade and in the kidnapping of Africans for slavery. On the Atlantic islands occupied by the Portuguese throughout the 15th century, technicians and overseers were installed to control sugar cane plantations and supervise the work of slaves. This was the prototype of the large plantation introduced from colonial Brazil. Its economic base was slavery, but the appropriation of land, divided into hereditary captaincies – whose grantees distributed extensions of land (“sesmarias”) to “men of quality” who had the resources to explore them – followed the dominant feudal regime. in Portugal and transposed to land brazil.

However, this legal superstructure did not correspond to the colony's slave relations. As Werneck Sodré stressed, the objective conditions of the plantation system prevailed; the grantees were soon replaced by a governor-general, who represented the king of Portugal in the colony. However, the division of the land into sesmarias remained; and the slave mode of production prospered where the most profitable productive activities were developed: sugar cane, cotton, mining, beef jerky and coffee. In other regions of the vast Brazilian territory – the livestock farming zones of the Northeast and Rio Grande do Sul, the forest collection zones, the “agricultural frontiers” –, according to Sodré, the social relations of production took on “feudal” traits.

This is because labor exploitation was based on bonds of personal dependence, on the ownership of land and livestock, if not on direct coercion. In regions where slavery activities went into decline after a peak of prosperity, the abolition of slavery without a concomitant agrarian reform left the mass of freed people in precarious conditions of existence. Faced with the advance of the abolitionist movement, coffee farmers established the “colonato”, calling poor peasants immigrated from Europe to work on the coffee plantations, for partial remuneration in cash and sharing of what they produced.

Sodré found a strong image, taken from popular culture, to express the predatory effects of this succession of economic cycles: “the name that appears most often on Brazilian maps of the regions occupied earlier is that of will type, that is, ruin”; a name that refers to one of the “most characteristic phenomena in the history” of Brazil: the “territorial march of wealth”.

In Sodré's conception, national independence, having inherited “slavery and feudalism”, would have “no trace of bourgeois revolution” – which was outlined in the 1930th century, advancing slowly, and accelerated with the movement of XNUMX, but maintaining the latifundium and reconciling with imperialist domination.

In his dense Marxist interpretation of Brazil, Nelson Werneck Sodré founds a national-democratic program – an important theoretical contribution to a future Brazilian revolution. Its central objectives, centered on themes such as the autonomous development of the economy, agrarian reform and broad popular mobilization remain at the center of any transformative vision of Brazilian society. Its program points to the prospect of an alliance between socialist forces and the so-called “national bourgeoisie”: an alliance considered only as an objective possibility, conditioned by the correlation of forces between the popular national camp and the reactionary bloc (formed by the landowners and what they understands it as another part of the bourgeoisie – pro-imperialist).

For Nelson Werneck Sodré, the Brazilian bourgeoisie, although economically blocked by imperialist domination, feared being supplanted by the dynamics of social struggles; therefore, he always hesitated between allying himself with the working class and other popular forces – to carry out a national-democratic program (expressed, in the 1963-1964 situation, by the “basic reforms” of President João Goulart) –, or, on the contrary, , associate with large agro-export interests, accepting the dominant presence of imperialist trusts. We know how destructive the consequences were of the second term of this historical alternative prevailing.

Comments about the work

Nelson Werneck Sodré wrote 58 books and around 3000 articles in more than 60 years of intellectual activism. The range is wide and the dimensions of the themes that make up his work are multiple. Comprehensive historical studies predominate, devoted to Brazilian economic relations, politics and culture. He also published autobiographical accounts, as well as works introducing historical materialism and current affairs. The constant interest aroused by his writings has stimulated many reissues of his books. Below we mention the first edition of Nelson Werneck Sodré's books published during his lifetime – reviewing some of the most important ones. As for articles, we only list the main newspapers and magazines with which he contributed.

History of Brazilian literature: its economic foundations (São Paulo: Edições Cultura Brasileira, 1938) was his first book, in which he developed in a pioneering way an innovative historical-materialist interpretation of Brazilian literary production, distinguishing three stages in the evolution of our literature: the colonial, the search for authenticity national, and that of modernism – in which the national component asserted itself, emancipating itself from European models. Methodical and objective, the work reconstructs the social and cultural contexts of the evolution of Brazilian literary production, maintaining a balance between the characteristics of each author's production and the way they interacted with their circumstances.

Nelson Werneck Sodré read the books he analyzed and commented on with extreme attention and critical acumen – valuing the work more than the “literary life” of the authors. A good example, among others, is the comparative analysis between Mário and Oswald de Andrade: the former writing original and well-crafted literature; this one giving more importance to cultural agitation.

Panorama of the Second Empire (São Paulo: Editora Nacional, 1939) is a comprehensive study of the history of Brazil under the reign of Pedro II, a work articulated in six major panoramas: slavery, political, parliamentary, economic, centralization, sunset. The chapters devoted to each “panorama” have their own physiognomy and distinct focus, even though the most recurrent themes are treated in more than one chapter. The book analyzes the three main cycles of the slave economy: sugar, mining and coffee, but the abolitionist campaign is presented in the chapters relating to parliamentary activity and the decline of the Empire. Coffee is also studied from the point of view of its geoeconomic itinerary and its importance in the relationships between factors of national power.

The analysis of imperial centralization (administrative, fiscal, legal) leads to predominantly critical findings, which explain the decline of the regime. Sodré clearly describes the institutions of State power, the historical situations that put them to the test (the war against Paraguay, among others), as well as the difficulties and dysfunctions that hindered them. He also draws concise and objective portraits of important characters, such as Pedro II, Caxias, Mauá and Joaquim Nabuco.

Formation of Brazilian society (Rio de Janeiro: Livraria José Olympio Editora, 1944) is a panoramic and didactic synthesis of studies on the history of Brazil, from colonization to the Estado Novo. Its great merit is that, at the same time as it popularizes the academic debate, it uses an original historical-materialist explanation.

Em O Treaty of Methuen (Rio de Janeiro: ISEB, 1957) – as in other works written during the period in which he worked at ISEB –, when studying an important fact from the past, Sodré does not lose sight of its relevance for understanding present problems. It stands in contrast to prevailing interpretations of this treaty, named after the insidious British negotiator J. Methuen; It is from this document, signed in 1703, that dates back Portuguese economic subordination to Great Britain: Portugal opened its internal market to wheat in exchange for freedom to export its wine.

For Nelson Werneck Sodré, the effects of trade agreements are insufficient to explain the atrophy of Portuguese industrial development, just as, by themselves, protectionist measures do not guarantee industrialization. Thinking about the situation in Brazil, he insists that, without coherent social transformations, it would not be possible to pave the way for national development.

Historical formation of Brazil (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1962) exposes the essence of five years of courses at the Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros (ISEB), the renowned center for debates and formulations on national development – ​​closed by the military dictatorship.

already yours Military history of Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1965) presents a comprehensive overview of the organization of the armed forces, from the beginning of colonization to the 1964 coup. It contains important documents that allow us to objectively evaluate the political interventions of the military at decisive moments in our history , showing both the progressive character of his participation in the abolition and overthrow of the imperial monarchy, and the persecution that nationalist and legalist officials suffered throughout the 1950s, announcing the much worse that would come with the 1964 coup.

Em Memoirs of a writer (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1970), autobiographical writing allows the historian greater literary freedom; with her Sodré describes her memories of reading as a child, such as those in the children's magazine Tico-Tico, following even the debates in his youth about literature and philosophy. The focus of the book is his own intellectual formation. Other aspects of his life are better portrayed in other works, also autobiographical, such as Memoirs of a Soldier (Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 1967).

In the book The communist attempt of 1935 (Porto Alegre: Mercado Aberto, 1985), whose title refers to a pejorative expression about the 1935 movement, Sodré, takes a critical stance towards the PCB, the organization of the military insurrection and the absence of popular and worker participation – despite making it explicit their respect for the participants of the east.

Capitalism and bourgeois revolution in Brazil (Belo Horizonte: Oficina de Livros, 1990) resumes and synthesizes two major themes: the development of the capitalist mode of production and the decisive historical role of Vargas; An essential work for a critical understanding of the economic and political evolution of our country, both for its conceptual clarity and rigor and for its concrete analysis of the central issues of the bourgeois transformation of Brazilian society.

The list of other books published by the author is in the following chronological order: West: essay on the large pastoral property (Rio de Janeiro: Livraria José Olympio Editora, 1941); Guidelines of Brazilian thought. (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Vecchi, 1942); Summary of literary development in Brazil (S. Paulo: Livraria Martins Editora, 1943); What you should read to get to know Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Reading, 1945); History of the viceroyalty of Rio da Prata (Rio de Janeiro: Army General Staff School, 1947); The Rio Grande do Sul campaign (Rio de Janeiro: Army General Staff School, 1950); Social classes in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros, 1957); Historical roots of Brazilian nationalism (Rio de Janeiro: ISEB, 1958); Introduction to the Brazilian revolution (Rio de Janeiro: Livr. José Olímpio Editora, 1958); Military narratives (Rio de Janeiro: Army Library, 1959). The ideology of colonialism (Rio de Janeiro: ISEB, 1961); Who are the people in Brazil? (Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 1962); Who killed Kennedy? (Rio de Janeiro: Gernasa, 1963); History of the Brazilian bourgeoisie (Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 1964); Writer's craft: dialectics of literature (Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 1965); Naturalism in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1965); History of the press in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1966); Memoirs of a Soldier (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1967); Fundamentals of Marxist Aesthetics (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1968); Fundamentals of Marxist Economics (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1968); Foundations of historical materialism (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1968); Foundations of Dialectical Materialism (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1968); Summary of the History of Brazilian Culture, (Rio de Janeiro: Civ. Bras., 1970); Brazil: X-ray of a model (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1974); Introduction to Geography (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1976); The truth about ISEB (Rio de Janeiro: Avenir, 1978); Oscar Niemeyer (Rio de Janeiro: Graal, 1978); The About Column (Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 1978); Life and death of the dictatorship: twenty years of authoritarianism in Brazil (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1984); Contribution to the history of the PCB (São Paulo: Global, 1984); History and historical materialism in Brazil (São Paulo: Global, 1985); Lieutenantism (Porto Alegre: Mercado Aberto, 1985); History of New History (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1986); The secret military government (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1987); Literature and History in contemporary Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Graphia, 1987); The Republic: a historical review (Porto Alegre: Editora UFRGS, 1989); The march towards Nazism (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1989); The fight for culture (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Br., 1990); Everyday fascism (Belo Horizonte: Oficina de Livros, 1990); The reactionary offensive (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Br., 1992); Caliban's fury: memories of the coup of 64 (Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Br., 1994); The farce of neoliberalism (Rio de Janeiro: Graphia, 1995).

It is also worth noting Sodré's participation at the head of a collective of young historians brought together in the project of New History of Brazil. Formulated at ISEB (of which he was the director) and supported by the MEC, the project included ten textbooks, from the discovery of Brazil to the meaning of Florianism. Five were published, but it was 1964 and the military dictatorship soon prevented the project from continuing and persecuted its participants. The following year, however, after the first wave of repression had passed, the publisher Brasiliense resumed the project, reformulating it into six volumes, of which only two (the first and fourth) were published.

In 1987, Maria Ana Quaglino and Mattos Dias conducted an interview with Nelson Werneck Sodré, promoted by the partnership between CPDOC/Fundação Getúlio Vargas and SERCOM/Petrobrás – within the scope of the “Memories of Petrobrás” project –, the transcription of which can be obtained at FGV portal (

In 1998, it was published Everything is Politics: 50 years of Nelson Werneck Sodré's thought (Rio de Janeiro: Mauad, 1998), collection organized by Ivan Alves Filho of scattered texts, mainly articles from newspapers, weeklies and other periodicals (some unpublished).

Among the main magazines and newspapers to which he contributed throughout his life, we mention: Paulista Post Office (1931); Political culture (1941); The state of Sao Paulo (1941); Military Club Magazine (1948); Brazilian Civilization Magazine (1968); Human Sciences Themes (1977); Encounters with Brazilian Civilization (1978)

There are many studies devoted to Sodré's ideas and work. One of the most prominent is that of Marcos Silva, who organized Nelson Werneck Sodré in Brazilian historiography (Bauru: Edusc 2001), compendium of 13 studies on different aspects of his work; and yet, the great Critical dictionary Nelson Werneck Sodré (Rio de Janeiro: UFRJ, 2008) – composed of 83 entries, which present either a book or a set of articles published by the Marxist in magazines and newspapers, covering practically all of his intellectual production. Also mention the work of Paulo Cunha A look to the left: the tenentista utopia in the construction of Nelson Werneck Sodré's Marxist thought (Rio de Janeiro: Revan, 2002), scholar who, in addition to this book, organized, in partnership with Fátima Cabral, Nelson Werneck Sodré: between the sword and the pen (São Paulo: UNESP, 2006), bringing together contributions from 21 researchers (and including a comprehensive list of studies dedicated to Marxist thought).

There are digitized works by Werneck Sodré on the network, which can be obtained on portals such as: marxists (; It is Marxism 21 (

*João Quartim de Moraes He is a retired full professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of The military left in Brazil (Popular Expression). [].

*Francisco Quartim de Moraes He has a PhD in Economic History from USP. Author of1932: history inverted (Editor Anita Garibaldi).

Originally published on the Praxis Nucleus-USP.


CUNHA, Paulo Ribeiro da. A look to the left: the tenentista utopia in the construction of Nelson Werneck Sodré's Marxist thought. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Revan, 2002.

CUNHA, Paulo Ribeiro da; CABRAL, Fátima (org.). Nelson Werneck Sodré: between the sword and the pen. São Paulo: UNESP publishing house, 2006.

PENNA, Lincoln de Abreu. The Republic of military manifestos: Nelson Werneck Sodré, a republican interpreter. Rio de Janeiro: E-Papers, 2011.

SILVA, Marcos (org.). Nelson Werneck Sodré in Brazilian historiography. Bauru: USC Publisher, 2001.

______(org.). Critical dictionary Nelson Werneck Sodré. Rio de Janeiro: Editora da UFRJ, 2008.

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