[Marxism] Fwd: H-Net Review [H-LatAm]: Pires on Green, 'Exile within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay Brazilian Revolutionary'
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> From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review at lists.h-net.org>
> Date: August 29, 2019 at 10:28:25 AM EDT
> To: h-review at lists.h-net.org
> Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp at mail.h-net.org>
> Subject: H-Net Review [H-LatAm]: Pires on Green, 'Exile within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay Brazilian Revolutionary'
> Reply-To: h-review at lists.h-net.org
> James Naylor Green. Exile within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay
> Brazilian Revolutionary. Durham Duke University Press, 2018. 334
> pp. $27.95 (paper), ISBN 978-1-4780-0086-0.
> Reviewed by Larissa Pires (Iowa State)
> Published on H-LatAm (August, 2019)
> Commissioned by Casey M. Lurtz
> James N. Green's _Exile within Exiles _is a recuperative biography,
> an effort to shed light not only on an often forgotten figure in
> Brazilian history, but also on the contradictions within the
> country's revolutionary Left, specifically during Brazil's military
> dictatorship (1964-85). The book centers on the life of Herbert
> Eustaquio de Carvalho, later known as Herbert Daniel, a Marxist
> revolutionary, guerrilla fighter, environmental activist, political
> candidate, and human rights advocate. Green's access to copious
> documentation on Daniel's life, such as memoirs, letters, and
> interviews with his family, friends, and revolutionary colleagues,
> aided in the construction of a narrative that intersects the public
> and private spheres as well as the political and the personal.
> Herbert Daniel, born in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, was
> influenced by Marxist theorists when he started medical school in
> 1965. The then young, vibrant student environment of most federal
> universities pulsated with political opposition to Brazil's military
> dictatorship and to the violent censorship it enforced. The pull
> toward political activism was such that Daniel abandoned his medical
> studies and joined, instead, the resistance movement in 1967.
> Meanwhile, he struggled with conflicts of his own, attempting to
> explore his homosexuality while actively participating in
> revolutionary organizations. It is this narrative that Green
> extrapolates on in one of his most interesting analyses: the
> contradictions within Brazil's revolutionary, yet morally
> conservative, Left. Within this dichotomy, Herbert Daniel hid his
> sexual desires, relying on furtive and secretive encounters in public
> In 1970, two years after the government issued the Institutional Act
> No. 5 increasing censorship and presidential powers and decreasing
> individual freedoms, Daniel joined a guerrilla group that trained in
> the Brazilian countryside. Green astutely comments on how
> developments linked to the Cuban Revolution deeply changed Brazil's
> Left, leading many within the movement to invest in rural guerrilla
> fighting and tactics. As with many of his colleagues, Daniel believed
> that Brazil was ready for the revolution to ignite rural social
> segments. Hiding in the countryside with other guerrilla fighters,
> Daniel wholeheartedly committed to the movement and felt the need to
> suppress his sexuality by masquerading as a standard heterosexual man
> and practicing abstention. This signaled, for Daniel, the epitome of
> his self-exile, in which he was compelled to hide his identity within
> the conservative boundaries of what he saw as a liberating, just, and
> necessary revolutionary movement.
> Returning to urban fighting, Daniel participated in armed efforts to
> raise money for the revolution and to release key political figures
> who were held, and tortured, in Brazil's many military jails. Those
> were difficult years, with Daniel constantly on the move and in
> hiding, especially after participating in bank robberies, thefts, and
> kidnappings of diplomatic authorities. Green does an excellent job in
> narrating these events, their consequences and rationale, while
> remembering to comment on Daniel's personal journey with his
> A crucial turning point in the narrative occurred in 1974, when
> Daniel and his long-time friend Claudio Mesquita fled to Portugal in
> an act of self-exile. Green points out that moving to Europe opened
> the possibility of better exploring his sexuality and his identity
> within a broader society. It was there that Daniel began a
> long-lasting relationship with Mesquita, as well as embraced other
> activist movements such as feminism. Always the prolific writer and
> communicator, Daniel, increasingly aware of the conservative
> subjugation of women within the Left, wrote pieces on the female
> quest for equality and reproductive rights.
> In 1976, political changes in Portugal pushed Daniel and Mesquita to
> move to Paris, where they experienced a more open gay culture. This
> immersion into a world that was previously forbidden helped shape
> Daniel's activism and deepened his resolve. He also wrote his first
> autobiography, the major themes being guerrilla fighting, revolution,
> and homosexuality. However, in spite of his new experiences, he still
> resented exile and longed to return to Brazil. Finally, in 1981,
> following changes within the Brazilian military body, Daniel was
> granted political amnesty and allowed to return to his home country.
> This initiated a new era in his political work.
> Back in Brazil, Daniel embraced his sexuality and transformed it into
> a political platform for equality, human rights, and respect. He
> continued to defy stereotypes and actively fought to change how the
> media, and the public, portrayed the homosexual community. Daniel
> also engaged in environmental activism and electoral politics,
> consolidating his political agenda as ecologically responsible and
> socially antidiscriminatory. Politically and personally, he distanced
> himself from the traditional Marxist focus on class and embraced
> greater political and social intersectionality.
> Herbert Daniel's activism soon included an issue that shook Brazilian
> society and popular belief: the AIDS epidemic. In 1989, Daniel was
> diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Initially devastated by the diagnosis, he
> soon moved on to politicize his condition and fought to change the
> general perception of HIV as merely a death sentence. Through
> writings and political projects, he challenged discrimination not
> only against homosexuals but also against those affected by AIDS and
> proposed a policy of solidarity and acceptance instead. His activism
> gained him international recognition, and he spent the rest of his
> life fighting for better treatment of the previously marginalized
> before succumbing, in 1992, to AIDS-related complications.
> Green's book captivates the reader with a style that flows, informs,
> and connects subject and audience. It is clearly a positive portrayal
> of a forgotten character and is undeniably one-sided in its critique
> of Brazil's resistance movements during the years of dictatorship.
> However, as a self-defined recuperative biography, this trait is
> understandable. The narrative's focal point is Herbert Daniel and the
> intersection of personal struggles and sociopolitical conservatism.
> In this sense, Green's work is highly successful, especially when
> highlighting how, in many ways, the Left failed some of its members.
> The book's layout was also well planned, and by including a
> chronological list of events, a list of acronyms, and a thorough
> index, Green guarantees that readers, especially those not
> specialized in Brazilian history, will smoothly navigate the details
> of his narrative. _Exile within Exiles _is a refreshing addition to a
> growing genre that explores the intersection of public and private
> spheres, both in the lives of historical figures as well as in the
> creation of political movements.
> Citation: Larissa Pires. Review of Green, James Naylor, _Exile within
> Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay Brazilian Revolutionary_. H-LatAm, H-Net
> Reviews. August, 2019.
> URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=53820
> This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
> Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
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