Portuguese American Journal

Book | Carnation Revolution | Volume 1 & 2 | by Augusto Matos & Zelia Oliveira – Editor’s Note

On 25 April 1974, a movement of young captains brought down, with practically no resistance, the dictatorial regime that had been in power for over 40 years in Portugal. In the early hours of that day, a military movement unleashed a series of operations that, in less than 24 hours, defeated the forces loyal to the regime, neutralizing any possibility of reaction. Few forces resisted the insurgents, and the only resistance worthy of note came from the political police, who in the heat of the revolution opened fire on the surrounding crowd causing four deaths.

In the streets of Lisbon, the people enthusiastically joined the military revolt and started offering food, drinks, and red carnations to the soldiers, who decided to stick them in the barrels of their rifles, leading to the revolt being known as the Carnation Revolution. Although it began with a military coup d’état, 25 April paved the way for democracy, and there is no comparison to other similar revolutions. It was also a unique event in the European context of the time that broke Portugal’s isolation and brought it closer to other Western democracies.

This book is the first in a two-volume history. It describes the background to the revolution, the causes that led to the revolt of the captains and the situation in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, where guerrilla wars for their independence had been going on for more than a decade. Carnation Revolution Volume 1 & 2: The Road to the Coup that Changed Portugal are richly illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned artworks.

About the Authors

José Matos is an independent researcher in military history in Portugal with a primary interest in operations of the Portuguese Air Force during the colonial wars in Africa, especially in Guinea. He is a regular contributor to numerous European magazines on military aviation and naval subjects, and has collaborated in the major project ‘The Air Force at the end of the Empire’, published in Portugal in 2018.

Zelia Oliveira is a journalist at the Portuguese National News Agency (Lusa) and holds a master’s degree in contemporary Portuguese history.


Book Details

Title: Carnation Revolution | Volume 1&2 |The Road to the Coup that Changed Portugal, 1974

Authors: Augusto Matos & Zelia Oliveira

Publisher‏:Helion and Company

Publication Date: Volume 1, November 30, 2023

Publication Date: Volume 2, February 29, 2024

Series: Europe@War

Language‏: ‎English

Paperback‏: Volume 1,‎ 78pp

Paperback: Volume 2, 74pp

Available (Volume 1) @ Amazon.com

Available (Volume 2) @ Amazon.com


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