Profession of faith – Review by Ednalva Freire Caetano (UFS) on the book “Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy”, by Ibarê Dantas

Ibarê Dantas.| Image: Eugenio Barreto/Seed-Se

Abstract: Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy is the new book by Ibarê Dantas, historian and professor of Social Sciences, which explores the victories and misfortunes of the aforementioned student activist, bachelor in law and governor of Sergipe.

Keywords: Marcelo Déda, Democracy, Political History of Sergipe.


In the last month of May, Sergipe society was presented with the work Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy. The book portrays the life of the parliamentarian and manager at the municipal and state levels and in Brazil and the overwhelming influence that the Sergipe leader would have on the direction of his ruling party. The author, professor and historian Ibarê Dantas, analyzes Marcelo Déda’s role in politics, from his participation in student movements, through the successive defeats in attempts to enter the spheres of political representation, to the victories achieved for the state and federal legislature and the successive successful elections for the executive in Aracaju with reelection, and then for the state executive also in two elections.

With this work, Prof. Ibarê Dantas ranks among the greatest historians in our history, writing about Sergipe and in Sergipe, covering almost a century of Sergipe politics. Starting with O Tenentismo em Sergipe (from the Revolt of 1924 to the Revolution of 1930), the researcher of our history follows the paths of Clio, deepening studies on political parties in Sergipe (1889 – 1964), passing through the Military Guardianship (1964 – 1984), Elections in Sergipe (1985 – 2000), returning to the period of Leandro Maciel in the politics of the 20th century, with incursions into the Old Republic to detail the life of Leandro, the father, and finally flowing into the first decade of the 21st century. It is a lifetime dedicated to the study of Political Science, putting its science and competence at the service of our State.

The book is divided into sixteen chapters: the first is dedicated to information about the origins of the subject, from his family ancestors, especially those who would influence his intellectual and political formation, to his passage through student and union movements, ending with his first candidacy for Mayor of Aracaju, in 1985, when he was defeated.

The second chapter entitled Triunfo e Derotas analyzes his election for state deputy (1987 – 1990) and the lost campaigns for mayor in 1988 and for state deputy in 1990 taking him out of the state. In chapter 3, the author goes into detail about his victorious election and his performance as a federal deputy (1995 – 2000), a period in which he reaffirms his political qualities as an excellent speaker and expert on matters destined for evaluations and analyzes by the chamber, which favored his re-election to the position in 1998.

From chapter 4 to chapter 7, the historian brings us multiple information about the campaigns and the two victorious elections for mayor. In these, the author makes in-depth analyzes of electoral processes with data on the elections and their consequent formations in the city council. He also analyses, with the presentation of data and opinions collected in the different media and in reports, the deeds and achievements of his management as mayor of Aracaju

The second half of the book, which unfolds from chapter 8 to chapter 15, presents information about Marcelo Déda’s two terms at the head of the Sergipe executive. In these chapters, the researcher strives to carry out a detailed analysis of electoral campaigns, including national ones, whose results would favor the Governor’s administration, but which, on the other hand, would bring him some setbacks. The role of social movements and trade unions and the relentless clashes between the government and the categories they represent are also analysed. Data on the elections for the various city halls and the roles played by them in conducting the destinies of politics in the state are also presented. Likewise, the analysis of the results of the elections for the Legislative Assembly and their consequences in the formation of alliances so necessary for governance in democracy is also carried out. Finally, the chapters record the government’s achievements with a wealth of information, in addition to exploring the dense speeches, filled with culture and extreme beauty, that the expert orator and poet gave on several occasions.

The final chapter whose title denotes Fortun’s setbacks — “O Tormento” reports the adversities that the biographed person faced between 2012 and 2013, with information on the difficulties for the approval of Proinveste, which he considered essential for the State. It also reports a face-to-face conversation between the writer and the young governor who says goodbye to life at the age of 53.

The first thing that occurs to me when I finish reading is to think about how difficult it is and how much courage it takes to write about the history of the recent past, when some characters still circulate in the various spheres of power, and so many others, witnesses of the analyzed facts, can present their versions, at a time when versions often overlap with facts. Prof. Ibarê points out the sources (and there are many!), indicates the interviewees, including the biographer himself, and leaves little or no doubt about the multiple information presented in the book. One more point for the historian of the present time.

Marcelo Déda was baptized in the deep waters of knowledge by his maternal grandfather, as the author transcribes: “he was, throughout my childhood and adolescence, in absence, the most outstanding intellectual presence of my life”. And this strong presence will determine the great intellectual and eloquent orator who would impress his peers in the legislature and would later guide the directions of Aracaju and his State in more than one term.

Once the rite of baptism is fulfilled, a profession of faith is necessary and he makes it effective in the high school student movement of Atheneu, where great intellectuals and great leaders of the struggles for democracy passed, at a time when the public school was a reference to Education in Brazil.

Also at the Public University he would exercise to the maximum the attributes that would become brighter as they were refined by constant and vigorous reading and by heated debates that exercise the brain and settle convictions.

Marcelo Déda and Ibarê Dantes, at the Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe (2017) | Image: Alisson Fabiano Silva Ferro/Infonet

Democratic clashes are always made of advances and setbacks, victories and defeats, and Marcelo Déda lived, with the fervor of those who believe, these contradictions, often sacrificing his governance on the altar of democracy. But that faith would make him a prophet of the good news, announcing a new era as he did in his inaugural speech for his first term in the state government, when some serious mistakes made by his party still did not punish him: “The road was hard and the journey arduous, but we arrived. Like a sailor in the crow’s nest, we can already see signs of change on the horizon and announce to the people of this Sergipe land. Tidings, my captain! The dream of a generation, the hope that fueled so much struggle, the faith that brought so many people together, is now history!”

As a prophet of democracy, Marcelo Déda used his beautiful and profound rhetoric to enchant the grimy corridors of power, whether in the party sphere or in the national sphere where his star shone to the point of overshadowing some priests. Like a good democrat, he suffered defeats in fights that were difficult to fight, but which he drank like a chalice of gall without ever losing his tenderness, the poet that he was.

Olavo Bilac, lend me one of the verses from one of his most beautiful poems, also called “Profession of Faith” in which the great poet declares all his love for poetry saying: I envy the goldsmith when I write / I imitate love / With which he, in gold, the high relief makes of a flower / I imitate him”. Marcelo Déda, poet that he was, practiced democracy by imitating love with great care — for his party, for the people and for the people. But above all, he did so with the faith based on Thomas More’s Utopia, which idealizes a society based on fair laws and political-economic institutions truly committed to the well-being of the community.

The work Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy, made available to the public in Sergipe by Prof. Ibarê Dantas gallantly fulfills his role by assuring us the right to reliable information about the importance of the role played by this illustrious Sergipe in the construction and development of politics in Sergipe and in Brazil, since his brilliant intellectual capacity transcended our small territorial domains. The work brings valuable information, the result of accurate research and a very perceptive look at political facts and the trajectory of this brilliant leader. It should be read by every citizen interested in knowing the local political experience of our recent past.

Like the good Christian he was, I imagine that, in the split second that took him from this known life to the one we don’t know, Marcelo Déda thought, in the lucidity he had left, like the apostle Paul: I fought the good fight and kept the faith. The faith he had professed as a young man in old Atheneu, which he put into practice throughout his life and which he leaves as a legacy to democracy and the people of Sergipe.

Summary de Marcelo Déda na construção da democracia

  • Introdução
  • 1. Origens e formação
  • 2. Triunfo e derrotas
  • 3. Deputado federal (1995-2000)
  • 4. 2000: a eleição para prefeito de Aracaju
  • 5. Prefeito da capital: primeiras ações. Críticas e contradições
  • 6. Prefeito: realizações (2001-2004)
  • 7. A eleição de 2004 e a segunda gestão na prefeitura
  • 8. O embate de 2006
  • 9. Transição e posse
  • 10. Governador (2007-2010)
  • 11. Governador (2007-2010): eleição e negociações
  • 12. A reeleição de 2010 para governador
  • 13. Posse e secretariado
  • 14. Governador (2011-2012)
  • 15. O tormento (2012-2013)
  • Epílogo
  • Cronologia
  • Agradecimentos
  • Referências

To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Ednalva Freire Caetano has a master’s degree in Education (1997) and a degree in Pedagogy (1975) from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS). She was Chief of Staff of the Dean (1996-2000 and 2006 to 2012) at UFS, Human Resources Manager (2000-2004) and Pro-Dean of People Management (2016-2022) at UFS. She published, among other texts, A caminho de Betulia: cronicas (2022). ID LATTES: 2062208000453510; E-mail: [email protected].


To cite this review

DANTAS, Ibarê. Marcelo Déda na construção da democracia. Aracaju: Criaçao, 2023. 539p. Review of: CAETANO, Ednalva Freire. Profissão de fé na Política. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, May/Jun, 2023. Available in <>.


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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Profession of faith – Review by Ednalva Freire Caetano (UFS) on the book “Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy”, by Ibarê Dantas

Ibarê Dantas.| Image: Eugenio Barreto/Seed-Se

Abstract: Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy is the new book by Ibarê Dantas, historian and professor of Social Sciences, which explores the victories and misfortunes of the aforementioned student activist, bachelor in law and governor of Sergipe.

Keywords: Marcelo Déda, Democracy, Political History of Sergipe.


In the last month of May, Sergipe society was presented with the work Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy. The book portrays the life of the parliamentarian and manager at the municipal and state levels and in Brazil and the overwhelming influence that the Sergipe leader would have on the direction of his ruling party. The author, professor and historian Ibarê Dantas, analyzes Marcelo Déda’s role in politics, from his participation in student movements, through the successive defeats in attempts to enter the spheres of political representation, to the victories achieved for the state and federal legislature and the successive successful elections for the executive in Aracaju with reelection, and then for the state executive also in two elections.

With this work, Prof. Ibarê Dantas ranks among the greatest historians in our history, writing about Sergipe and in Sergipe, covering almost a century of Sergipe politics. Starting with O Tenentismo em Sergipe (from the Revolt of 1924 to the Revolution of 1930), the researcher of our history follows the paths of Clio, deepening studies on political parties in Sergipe (1889 – 1964), passing through the Military Guardianship (1964 – 1984), Elections in Sergipe (1985 – 2000), returning to the period of Leandro Maciel in the politics of the 20th century, with incursions into the Old Republic to detail the life of Leandro, the father, and finally flowing into the first decade of the 21st century. It is a lifetime dedicated to the study of Political Science, putting its science and competence at the service of our State.

The book is divided into sixteen chapters: the first is dedicated to information about the origins of the subject, from his family ancestors, especially those who would influence his intellectual and political formation, to his passage through student and union movements, ending with his first candidacy for Mayor of Aracaju, in 1985, when he was defeated.

The second chapter entitled Triunfo e Derotas analyzes his election for state deputy (1987 – 1990) and the lost campaigns for mayor in 1988 and for state deputy in 1990 taking him out of the state. In chapter 3, the author goes into detail about his victorious election and his performance as a federal deputy (1995 – 2000), a period in which he reaffirms his political qualities as an excellent speaker and expert on matters destined for evaluations and analyzes by the chamber, which favored his re-election to the position in 1998.

From chapter 4 to chapter 7, the historian brings us multiple information about the campaigns and the two victorious elections for mayor. In these, the author makes in-depth analyzes of electoral processes with data on the elections and their consequent formations in the city council. He also analyses, with the presentation of data and opinions collected in the different media and in reports, the deeds and achievements of his management as mayor of Aracaju

The second half of the book, which unfolds from chapter 8 to chapter 15, presents information about Marcelo Déda’s two terms at the head of the Sergipe executive. In these chapters, the researcher strives to carry out a detailed analysis of electoral campaigns, including national ones, whose results would favor the Governor’s administration, but which, on the other hand, would bring him some setbacks. The role of social movements and trade unions and the relentless clashes between the government and the categories they represent are also analysed. Data on the elections for the various city halls and the roles played by them in conducting the destinies of politics in the state are also presented. Likewise, the analysis of the results of the elections for the Legislative Assembly and their consequences in the formation of alliances so necessary for governance in democracy is also carried out. Finally, the chapters record the government’s achievements with a wealth of information, in addition to exploring the dense speeches, filled with culture and extreme beauty, that the expert orator and poet gave on several occasions.

The final chapter whose title denotes Fortun’s setbacks — “O Tormento” reports the adversities that the biographed person faced between 2012 and 2013, with information on the difficulties for the approval of Proinveste, which he considered essential for the State. It also reports a face-to-face conversation between the writer and the young governor who says goodbye to life at the age of 53.

The first thing that occurs to me when I finish reading is to think about how difficult it is and how much courage it takes to write about the history of the recent past, when some characters still circulate in the various spheres of power, and so many others, witnesses of the analyzed facts, can present their versions, at a time when versions often overlap with facts. Prof. Ibarê points out the sources (and there are many!), indicates the interviewees, including the biographer himself, and leaves little or no doubt about the multiple information presented in the book. One more point for the historian of the present time.

Marcelo Déda was baptized in the deep waters of knowledge by his maternal grandfather, as the author transcribes: “he was, throughout my childhood and adolescence, in absence, the most outstanding intellectual presence of my life”. And this strong presence will determine the great intellectual and eloquent orator who would impress his peers in the legislature and would later guide the directions of Aracaju and his State in more than one term.

Once the rite of baptism is fulfilled, a profession of faith is necessary and he makes it effective in the high school student movement of Atheneu, where great intellectuals and great leaders of the struggles for democracy passed, at a time when the public school was a reference to Education in Brazil.

Also at the Public University he would exercise to the maximum the attributes that would become brighter as they were refined by constant and vigorous reading and by heated debates that exercise the brain and settle convictions.

Marcelo Déda and Ibarê Dantes, at the Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe (2017) | Image: Alisson Fabiano Silva Ferro/Infonet

Democratic clashes are always made of advances and setbacks, victories and defeats, and Marcelo Déda lived, with the fervor of those who believe, these contradictions, often sacrificing his governance on the altar of democracy. But that faith would make him a prophet of the good news, announcing a new era as he did in his inaugural speech for his first term in the state government, when some serious mistakes made by his party still did not punish him: “The road was hard and the journey arduous, but we arrived. Like a sailor in the crow’s nest, we can already see signs of change on the horizon and announce to the people of this Sergipe land. Tidings, my captain! The dream of a generation, the hope that fueled so much struggle, the faith that brought so many people together, is now history!”

As a prophet of democracy, Marcelo Déda used his beautiful and profound rhetoric to enchant the grimy corridors of power, whether in the party sphere or in the national sphere where his star shone to the point of overshadowing some priests. Like a good democrat, he suffered defeats in fights that were difficult to fight, but which he drank like a chalice of gall without ever losing his tenderness, the poet that he was.

Olavo Bilac, lend me one of the verses from one of his most beautiful poems, also called “Profession of Faith” in which the great poet declares all his love for poetry saying: I envy the goldsmith when I write / I imitate love / With which he, in gold, the high relief makes of a flower / I imitate him”. Marcelo Déda, poet that he was, practiced democracy by imitating love with great care — for his party, for the people and for the people. But above all, he did so with the faith based on Thomas More’s Utopia, which idealizes a society based on fair laws and political-economic institutions truly committed to the well-being of the community.

The work Marcelo Déda in the construction of democracy, made available to the public in Sergipe by Prof. Ibarê Dantas gallantly fulfills his role by assuring us the right to reliable information about the importance of the role played by this illustrious Sergipe in the construction and development of politics in Sergipe and in Brazil, since his brilliant intellectual capacity transcended our small territorial domains. The work brings valuable information, the result of accurate research and a very perceptive look at political facts and the trajectory of this brilliant leader. It should be read by every citizen interested in knowing the local political experience of our recent past.

Like the good Christian he was, I imagine that, in the split second that took him from this known life to the one we don’t know, Marcelo Déda thought, in the lucidity he had left, like the apostle Paul: I fought the good fight and kept the faith. The faith he had professed as a young man in old Atheneu, which he put into practice throughout his life and which he leaves as a legacy to democracy and the people of Sergipe.

Summary de Marcelo Déda na construção da democracia

  • Introdução
  • 1. Origens e formação
  • 2. Triunfo e derrotas
  • 3. Deputado federal (1995-2000)
  • 4. 2000: a eleição para prefeito de Aracaju
  • 5. Prefeito da capital: primeiras ações. Críticas e contradições
  • 6. Prefeito: realizações (2001-2004)
  • 7. A eleição de 2004 e a segunda gestão na prefeitura
  • 8. O embate de 2006
  • 9. Transição e posse
  • 10. Governador (2007-2010)
  • 11. Governador (2007-2010): eleição e negociações
  • 12. A reeleição de 2010 para governador
  • 13. Posse e secretariado
  • 14. Governador (2011-2012)
  • 15. O tormento (2012-2013)
  • Epílogo
  • Cronologia
  • Agradecimentos
  • Referências

To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Ednalva Freire Caetano has a master’s degree in Education (1997) and a degree in Pedagogy (1975) from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS). She was Chief of Staff of the Dean (1996-2000 and 2006 to 2012) at UFS, Human Resources Manager (2000-2004) and Pro-Dean of People Management (2016-2022) at UFS. She published, among other texts, A caminho de Betulia: cronicas (2022). ID LATTES: 2062208000453510; E-mail: [email protected].


To cite this review

DANTAS, Ibarê. Marcelo Déda na construção da democracia. Aracaju: Criaçao, 2023. 539p. Review of: CAETANO, Ednalva Freire. Profissão de fé na Política. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, May/Jun, 2023. Available in <>.


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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