On April 25, 1974, a coup destroyed the ranks of Estado Novo’s fascist government in Portugal. Ordinary people flooded the streets of Lisbon, placing red carnations in the barrels of guns and demanding a land for those who work in it. This spontaneous revolt placed power in the hands of the working classes, trade unions, and women.
In order to understand the Carnation Revolution, we must recognize it as an international coalition of social movements, comprised of struggles for independence in Portugal’s African colonies, the rebellion of the young military captains of the Armed Forces Movement, and the uprising of Portugal’s long-oppressed working classes. Cutting against the grain of mainstream accounts, Raquel Cardeira Varela shows how it was through the organizing power of these diverse movements that a popular-front government was instituted along with the nation’s withdrawal from its overseas colonies.
Offering a rich account of the challenges these coalitions faced and the victories they won through revolutionary means, this book tells the tumultuous history behind the Carnation Revolution.