Documenting The Portuguese Revolution, 1962-1994

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From the holdings of the Firestone Library, Princeton University

On April 24, 1974, an underground movement of young military officers, radicalized by the experience of Portugal’s bloody attempt to retain control of its rebellious African colonies, overthrew the long-lived and authoritarian Salazar-Caetano regime. The coup by the Movimento das Forças Armadas, or the MFA, placed into power General António Spínola, an insider who had criticized the conduct of the colonial wars but expected to preside over a mere renovação, or renovation, of Portuguese politics. Instead, the coup unleashed an unprecedented popular upsurge that challenged the very foundations of the capitalist and colonialist state. Documenting the Portuguese Revolution, 1962-1994 tells the story of this tumultuous era and its aftermath.

Most of the materials in this collection were gathered by Professor Kenneth Maxwell, of Harvard University, and some of the newspapers were provided by Professor Nancy Bermeo of Princeton University. Section I consists primarily of unpublished conference and research papers spanning the years 1962-1994, but also contains press releases, interviews, and declarations. Academic papers are interspersed with addresses and memoranda by such figures as African independence leaders Amilcar Cabral and Agostinho Neto, Portuguese Communist Party chief Alvaro Cunhal, and Henry Kissinger. Section II consists of longer runs of Portuguese newspapers, and some periodicals, from 1974-1980. Section III is made up of monographs and special journal issues that cover topics such as the post-revolutionary mass media, the church and revolution, and key documents of the revolutionary process. Section IV contains subject files focused on Africa, Economics, Industry, Labor, Popular Participation, and Military, with special files for each of the major political parties involved in the revolution.

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