Manoel de Oliveira Lima’s The Evolution of Brazil was first published in 1914 as the result of a series of lectures given by the Brazilian historian at Stanford University in the Fall of 1912. A world-renowned scholar of Latin American history, Oliveira Lima taught and lectured at the most prestigious European universities, including the Sorbonne. He was a pioneer in the field in the United States, having inaugurated the Chair in Latin American History at Harvard University and later becoming a Professor of International Law at The Catholic University of America. He also lectured across the country in more than a dozen universities. It was at Catholic University where he decided to establish the Oliveira Lima Library with the donation of his private collection of more than 40.000 books, manuscripts, documents and works of art. The Oliveira Lima Library is the embodiment of his commitment to promote the study of his home country.
At the time of its publication, The Evolution of Brazil represented an innovative effort to use a comparative method tailored for an American audience to teach about the history of Brazil. In a time when Latin American Studies was only in its infancy, Oliveira Lima was highly influential and helped to foster interest for the emerging field in American universities. Bringing this important work back in to print helps shed light on an important figure for Latin American Studies and provides an important source to understand the substantial changes the field has experienced in the past century.