Vassouras: A Brazilian Coffee County, 1850-1900. The Roles of Planter and Slave in a Plantation Society

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This book is a now classic social and economic study of the origins, apogee, and decline of coffee in the Parahyba Valley of South Central Brazil. Local society, the free-planters, professionals, tradesmen, and lower class citizens-and the slaves, are viewed through the routine of plantation life. The author shows how abolition, erosion, and bankruptcy transformed virgin forest into a wasteland of eroded hillsides and abandoned towns, of disillusioned planters and poverty-stricken black freedmen.