Luis Felipe Miguel of the University of Brasília reviews a recent book on the history of the Globo network in Brazil, authored by the multimedia giant's own in-house "institutional memory" project.
Gist: the book is a well-made edition of an important collection of documents about a topic of great historical significance, but suffers from gabbling, fairy-tale historical revisionism and the rhetoric of authohagiography.
I translate some excerpts:
The book recounts the program's history in a well-made edition with hundreds of illustrations. It consists, first and foremost, of an homage to the professionals who worked on the program, which explains the long lists of names of reporters, editors, camera operators and technicians, which the average reader will find somewhat tiresome. The book also serves as a recapitulation — or at least, as an aide-memoire — of daily life over the last 35 years, recalling events that are often left out of history books but which provided raw material for "memorable" coverage, such as major building fires (Andraus, Joelma, Andorinhas) or crimes that caused a public sensation.
The style, on the other hand, is that of panegyric: In praise of a great project that progresses from victory to victory, without retreat, without error. Changes in management, for example, are invariably narrated as bringing continuity and improvement, never changes of course. All of the tensions inherent in that process are eliminated. The result reminds one of the official history one reads in textbooks, designed more to inspire civic feeling than to provide historical understanding, and preaching the illusion of a nation without conflicts.