Portuguese American Journal

Book | Salazar: A Political Biography | By Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses – Editor’s Note

Salazar: A Political Biography is the definitive biography of the longstanding Portuguese dictator. António de Oliveira Salazar entered the government of Portugal when Herbert Hoover was president and ended his political career at the end of the Johnson administration. He remained in power for forty years (1928–1968), one of the longest tenures in modern history. Unlike the other ‘great dictators’ of the twentieth century, Salazar, an academic, immersed himself in the minutiae of government and administration, maintaining a prodigious work rate until illness forced his retirement. He successfully managed his country’s finances despite the impact of the Great Depression, imposing a harsh policy of austerity. He then preserved Portugal’s neutrality during the Second World War, ultimately favoring Great Britain and the United States. But Salazar was at heart an extremely conservative, even reactionary statesman. He relied on secrecy and a police state to maintain the order which, he believed, was necessary to control progress. Rejecting the anti-colonialist movements in Asia and Africa, he plunged Portugal into a series of wars in Africa it could ill afford.

Fully revised and updated throughout, this remains the authoritative biography of a key Portuguese political leader who was a significant presence in twentieth-century politics. This book will be of interest to historians of the far right, international diplomacy and Portugal.


About the Author

Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses is a Professor of History at Maynooth University, Ireland. He is the author of numerous works on Portuguese history, including Portugal 1914–1926: From the First World War to Military Dictatorship (2004) and Afonso Costa – Portugal (2010). The first edition of his biography of Salazar was originally published in 2009 and was translated into Portuguese a year later. With co-author Robert McNamara, he wrote The White Redoubt, the Great Powers and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1960–1980 (2018). The following year he edited, with Catriona Pennell, A World at War, 1911–1949: Explorations in the Cultural History of War. He was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2017.


Book Details

Title: Salazar: A Political Biography

Author: Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses

Series: Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right

Publisher‏: Routledge; 2nd edition

Publication Date: December 5, 2023

Language‏: ‎ English

Paperback‏: ‎622pp

Available @ Amazon.com

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