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Backlands: The Canudos Campaign

Backlands: The Canudos Campaign

Author(s): Euclides da Cunha

Location(s): Brazil

Genre(s): Historical, Nonfiction

Era(s): 1890s

In Canudos, a backlands town in the Northeastern State of Bahia, Antônio Conselheiro (Anthony the Counselor) preached against the republic. His followers, leather-clad ruffians or ‘jagungos’, terrorised the countryside. In the 1890s the Republic of Brazil was in its infancy and insecure, rumours of monarchist plots abounded, troublemakers like the Counselor needed to be dealt with. He had gathered a large following, apparently for his indifference to suffering rather than his skill as a preacher. This is the story of the government sending the army to deal with the people of Canudos and the attritional battle that ensued.

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