Bridging the Island explores the interplay between Brazilian
interpretations of the national Self and the Spanish-American Other
during the critical years spanning the demise of slavery and monarchy,
the two central institutions that set Brazil apart from the countries
surrounding it for decades in the nineteenth century. Their fall led
to the discovery and construction-both hopeful and fearful, conscious
and unconscious-of sameness with Brazil's neighbors, grounded in
shared historical experiences and common fates. What emerged was a
Janus-faced "Latin America" associated with Western-style "order and
progress" as much as with autochthonous caudillism and backwardness.
Shifting attention away from relationships between the Latin American
periphery and the North Atlantic center to transnational gazes and
dialogues within Latin America, this book makes an original
contribution to the intellectual history of Brazil, and opens a fresh
perspective on the fashioning of collective identities in the region
as a whole.