Portuguese American Journal

Book | The Carnation Revolution: The Day Portugal’s Dictatorship Fell | by Alex Fernandes – Editor’s Note

25 April 1974, Lisbon. Over the course of a single day, Europe’s oldest fascist regime falls. On its 50th anniversary, this is the story of the revolution that changed Portugal forever.

On the night of 24 April 1974, at five minutes to eleven, a Lisbon radio station broadcasts Portugal’s Eurovision entry. By 6.20 p.m. the next day, Europe’s oldest fascist regime has fallen. Hardly a shot has been fired. As citizens pour into the streets, they offer carnations to the revolutionary soldiers. For the first time in forty-eight years, Portugal is free.

The Carnation Revolution winds through the streets of Lisbon as the revolution unfolds, revealing the myriad acts of ordinary and extraordinary resistance that made 25 April possible. It’s the story of daring escapes from five-storey prisons, soldiers disobeying their officers’ orders and simple acts of courage by thousands of citizens. It’s the story of how a group of young captains felled a globe-spanning empire.


‘A brilliantly detailed and evocative account of a revolution unlike any other.’ — Helder Macedo, Emeritus Professor of Portuguese, King’s College London

 ‘I feel like I’ve been waiting three decades for precisely this book… In clear language, with a brilliantly detailed narrative, Alex Fernandes leaves us in no doubt why we should celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Carnation Revolution and never forget why it came about.’ — Lara Pawson, author of This Is the Place to Be

‘Alex Fernandes displays an encyclopedic knowledge of modern Portuguese political history in this admirably detailed exploration of the revolution that ushered in democracy in 1974. A thrilling and inspiring page-turner.’ Richard Zimler, author of international bestseller The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

‘A gripping account of an episode in European history that should be better known. Alex Fernandes narrates in vivid detail how junior officers disillusioned by Portugal’s colonial wars launched a daring coup to bring down a dictator, winning popular support in the face of the regime’s brutal repression.’ — Catherine Fletcher, author of The Beauty and the Terror

‘This is a real page-turner of a history book, a truly riveting account of the build-up to Portugal’s near-bloodless 1974 Carnation Revolution, the revolution itself, and its messy aftermath, bringing all the participants vividly to life.’ Margaret Jull Costa

‘In this in-depth and passionate book about the 1974 revolution that changed Portugal’s destiny, Fernandes introduces us to the places where the historic events took place, and provides vivid portraits of the protagonists.’ Nick Caistor, translator of The Lizard by Jose Saramago

‘Alex Fernandes has given the Carnation Revolution what it deserves: an animating account that gives life to its course… Whether when he is writing of cafes in Lisbon where the revolutionaries gathered or the battlefields of Angola and Mozambique, where they were first radicalized, Fernandes’s prose is compelling with an eye for the details that make history come alive… A book that takes you to Portugal – and makes you not want to leave.’Arash Azizi, author of What Iranians Want

About the Author

Alex Fernandes is a Portuguese writer who has been a long-time researcher of the 1974 revolution. In 2021, he led a walking tour through Lisbon across the key sites, giving him the inspiration for this book. He lives in London and works as a lighting designer in contemporary performance. –This text refers to the hardcover edition.


The Carnation Revolution — Alex Fernandes on Portugal’s fight against dictatorship – Financial Times



Book Details

Title: The Carnation Revolution: The Day Portugal’s Dictatorship Fell

Author: Alex Fernandes

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Kindle Edition: April 4, 2024

Publication Date: June 11, 2024

Language‏: ‎ English

Available: Amazon.com

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