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Professor Anne Hanley publishes new book

August 29, 2018

History Professor Anne Hanley has a new book out that sheds light on the history of state finances and economic development in Brazil.

Hanley will deliver a talk on the book—titled The Public Good and the Brazilian State: Municipal Finance and Public Services in São Paulo, 1822-1930(University of Chicago Press)— during a reception from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 7, at The Thurgood Marshall Gallery in Swen Parson Hall.

Who and what a government taxes, and how the government spends the money collected, are questions of primary concern to governments large and small, national and local. When public revenues pay for high-quality infrastructure and social services, citizens thrive and crises are averted. When public revenues are inadequate to provide those goods, inequality thrives and communities can verge into unrest—as evidenced by the riots during Greece’s financial meltdown and by the needless loss of life in Haiti’s collapse in the wake of the earthquake.

In The Public Good and the Brazilian State, Anne G. Hanley assembles an economic history of public revenues as they developed in 19th-century Brazil. Specifically, she investigates the financial life of the municipality to understand how the local state organized and prioritized the provision of public services, what revenues paid for those services, and what happened when the revenues collected failed to satisfy local needs. This deeply researched book offers valuable insights for anyone seeking to better understand how municipal finance informs histories of inequality and underdevelopment.

More information on the book is at