Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels
Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil


Award Winner
  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107496651

£ 30.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • An account of modernization and technological innovation in nineteenth-century Brazil that provides a distinctly Brazilian perspective. Existing scholarship on the period describes the beginnings of Brazilian modernization as a European or North American import dependent on foreign capital, transfers of technology, and philosophical inspiration. Promoters of modernization were considered few in number, derivative in their thinking, or thwarted by an entrenched slaveholding elite hostile to industrialization. Teresa Cribelli presents a more nuanced picture. Nineteenth-century Brazilians selected among the transnational flow of ideas and technologies with care and attention to the specific conditions of their tropical nation. Studying underutilized sources, Cribelli illuminates a distinctly Brazilian vision of modernization that challenges the view that Brazil, a nation dependent on slave labor for much of the nineteenth century, was merely reactive in the face of the modernization models of the North Atlantic industrializing nations.

    • Brings Brazilian perspectives to the foreground in understanding modernization in Brazil during the nineteenth century
    • Traces the roots of Brazilian economic thought in nineteenth-century economic development
    • Explores new territory in the realm of patents and Brazilian technological innovation, particularly in the coffee sector
    Read more


    • Honourable Mention, 2017 Latin American Studies Association Book Award, Brazil Section

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Teresa Cribelli's Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels: Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil offers a rich counter to histories that take the Brazilian Empire as a derivative case. The book stands against several commonplace assumptions in the field: that modernizing ideas in Brazil were late to come; were of external, notably British, provenance; and remained uncomfortably 'out of place' amid the trappings of a slave society … Cribelli succeeds in illustrating how Brazilian society was abuzz with polemics and plans related to improvement … In closing, the book presents a roadmap for future research that will be of special use to graduate students initiating work on Brazilian history. More importantly, this work is a welcome addition to courses on Brazil in the United States, where students may now be introduced to the Brazilian Empire not as a backward slave society but as a hotbed of technological ingenuity.' José Juan Pérez Meléndez, H-LatAm

    'Teresa Cribelli's fine monograph Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels: Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil examines how elites in imperial Brazil thought about modernization, how it applied to their own society, and how they attempted to adapt European ideas and technologies to Brazil.' Marshall C. Eakin, The American Historical Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107496651
    • length: 271 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Nineteenth-century modernization in Brazil
    2. The vocabulary of Brazilian modernization
    3. Industrial forests
    4. The most useful of instruments: plows and agricultural innovation
    5. Road-building and railroads: challenges to modernization
    6. Trolleys, railroads, and factories, or civilization and barbarism

  • Author

    Teresa Cribelli, University of Alabama
    Teresa Cribelli holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American History from The Johns Hopkins University. She has published articles and book chapters in the US, Brazil, and the UK. She has also curated an exhibition on the Brazilian Black Movement at the University of Alabama and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. She is a past recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Spencer Baird Fellowship at the Dibner Library of Science and Technology, a Smithsonian Institution Library, in Washington, DC. She is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama and Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.


    • Honourable Mention, 2017 Latin American Studies Association Book Award, Brazil Section

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.