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Manoel Correia de Andrade

Date Born.:

Lawyer, Professor, Writer

Law, Geography, History

Manoel Correia de Andrade

Article available in: PT-BR

Last update: 04/09/2017

By: Semira Adler Vainsencher - N/I

On 3 August 1922, at Engenho Jundiá in Vicência, Pernambuco, Manoel Correia de Oliveira Andrade was born. His parents were Joaquim Correia Xavier de Andrade (plantation master and cattle rancher) and Zulmira Azevedo Correia de Andrade. Manoel did the first four years of his formal education in Vicência, but at the age of ten he moved with his family to Recife. There in the Liceu Pernambucano, he completed primary school, and the complementary pre-juridical course at the Carneiro Leão Institute. During the pre-legal course, he married Maria de Lourdes Sales Menezes, a classmate he calls Lourdinha, and with her had five children.

Then, Manoel Correia enrolled in the Recife Faculty of Law. The young student, however, was not content with attending only one faculty, because after two years, he decided to concurrently study the course of Degree in Geography and History in the former Manoel da Nóbrega Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, today called the Catholic University of Pernambuco. He completed his bachelor’s degree in law in 1945 and he graduated in Geography and History in 1947.

Despite being the son of a plantation master, Manoel Correia became a member of the Communist Party at the age of twenty. For this reason, rural workers began to call him Correinha and trust him. He only remained seven months in the organisation, however. In spite of this, the leftist tendencies that he possessed facilitated his professional action in various unions, as a hired labour lawyer.

However, even though he worked at the Railway Workers’ Union, the Jaboatão Stone Workers’ Trade Union, and the Paper and Cardboard Industry Workers’ Union, the young lawyer was not satisfied with his area of activity, considering the amount of work demanding and with little financial return. He decided to increase his reading, and from one of them becomes excited by sociologist Caio Prado Júnior’s Evolução política do Brasil [Political Evolution of Brazil]. Manoel Correia then began to study the revolutions that occurred during the regency period, and began to frequent the Public Library – where the State Public Archive operates today.

Little by little, the lawyer devoted less time to his legal career and more to his research. In one of the trips that he made to the south of Brazil, he personally met Caio Prado Júnior, and from there arose a precious opportunity. The illustrious sociologist was selecting specialists in Geography in each region of the country to write about the various agrarian issues of the country and proposed that Manoel Correia cover the part concerning the reality in the Northeast.

As a result of this opportunity, the book A terra e o homem no Nordeste [Land and Man in the Northeast] was born, which was prefaced by Caio Prado Júnior himself and published by Editora Brasiliense. This work caused a great reaction from Brazilian geographers, who considered it as unscientific because it was not intended for academic purposes, but rather to record and analyse a long political process.

In 1952, contrary to an old wish of his father, Manoel Correia started to devote himself entirely to secondary education. He started teaching Geography of Brazil and History at the colleges Vera Cruz, Padre Félix and Americano Batista. He also taught Physical Geography at the Recife Faculty of Philosophy; General Geography at the Pernambuco State College; and Economic Geography at the Federal University of Pernambuco’s (UFPE) Faculty of Economic Sciences.

For participating in street demonstrations and acts of opposition to Agamenon Magalhães, for being a member of the group of students who trampled and tore the portrait of Getúlio Vargas (at the bar Lero Lero), and for participating in the political struggle against the Estado Novo, Manoel Correia was arrested during the government of the intervener Etelvino Lins. It turned out that the delegate of the Social Order was his cousin, Fábio Correia, who faced with the circumstances, was forced to comply with his duty. Manoel Correia was prosecuted by the National Security Court in 1944, and the following year received an amnesty from a decree by President Getúlio Vargas.

But despite all the repression at the time, he was one of the speakers at the funeral of the student Demócrito de Souza Filho, representing the law graduates of the year 1945. The writer was also imprisoned for joining the GEPA, an organ created by Miguel Arraes de Alencar, governor of Pernambuco, to assist the population and the poor workers of the semi-arid region.

Manoel Correia wrote the work ‘Land and Man in the Northeast’ with the aim of clarifying politicians and scholars about agrarian reform. Although it was written by a university professor, it is a piece that is more militant than academic. For this reason, the book was censored after the 1964 coup, since the military considered it as subversive material. According to the author himself, “The book Land and Man in the Northeast gave me important positions, praise and imprisonments.”

The young teacher travelled to various countries and saw different realities outside Brazil: he studied at École Pratique de Hautes Études in France; spent fifteen days at a conference in Israel and travelled throughout the country; he taught at the Universities of Sukuba, Japan, and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; gave lectures and conferences in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, France and the United States (California), among others.

It is difficult to record in a few lines the numerous positions, functions and honours that Manoel Correia had, received, and continued to have and receive. Of particular note are: the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from three Federal Universities (Rio Grande do Norte, Alagoas, and Sergipe), and the Catholic University of Pernambuco; the role of Head of the Department of Geography and History at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, UFPE, and Coordinator of the Masters Course in Economics, UFPE. He would even earn an entry in Who's Who in Brazilian Economic Life.

In 1984, Manoel Correia was appointed Director of the Rodrigo Mello Franco de Andrade Brazilian History and Documentation Centre (CEHIBRA) at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, a post that he held until 2003. The volume of his scientific production escapes the standards and limits of the Members of the Pernambuco Academy of Letters. The tireless researcher had more than one hundred (100) books and two hundred and fifty (250) published articles, including many in several languages.

Below are some of his works, in chronological order of publication:

- Geografia do Brasil, 3a. série ginasial. São Paulo, 1952;
- Geografia geral para a 1a. série ginasial. São Paulo, 1954
- Geografia geral para a 2a. série ginasial. São Paulo, 1954;
- Geografia geral para a 4a. série ginasial. São Paulo, 1957;
- Geografia e história de Pernambuco. São Paulo, 1959;
- A pecuária no agreste pernambucano. Recife, 1961;
- O Distrito Industrial e suas condições climáticas. Recife, 1962;
- Geografia do Brasil: região Nordeste. São Paulo, 1962;
- A terra e o homem no Nordeste. São Paulo, 1963;
- Geografia do Brasil, curso colegial. São Paulo, 1965;
- Geografia geral: física e humana. São Paulo, 1965;
- A guerra dos cabanos. [Rio de Janeiro], [1965].
- Espaço, polarização e desenvolvimento: a teoria dos pólos de desenvolvimento e a realidade nordestina. Recife, 1967;
- Geografia dos continentes. São Paulo, 1968;
- Geografia econômica do Nordeste: o espaço e a economia nordestina. São Paulo, 1970;
- Nordeste, espaço e tempo. Petrópolis, 1970;
- Movimentos nativistas em Pernambuco: Setembrizada e Novembrada. Recife, 1971
- Aceleração e freios do desenvolvimento brasileiro. Petrópolis, 1973;
- Geografia econômica. São Paulo, 1973;
- O processo de ocupação do espaço regional do Nordeste. Recife, 1975;
- Os trinta anos do Brasil. Recife, 1976;
- História econômica e administrativa do Brasil. São Paulo, 1976;
- O planejamento regional e o problema agrário no Brasil. São Paulo, 1976;
- O processo de ocupação do espaço pernambucano. Recife, 1976;
- Agricultura & capitalismo. São Paulo, 1979;
- Latifúndio e reforma agrária no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, 1980;
- 1930: a atualidade da Revolução. São Paulo, 1980;
- Capital, Estado e industrialização do Nordeste. Rio de Janeiro, 1981;
- Nordeste: a reforma agrária ainda é necessária? Recife, 1981;
- As alternativas do Nordeste. Recife, 1983;
- Projeto, avaliação e diagnóstico da Geografia no Brasil. Brasília, 1983;
- Poder político e produção do espaço. Recife, 1984;
- Classes sociais e agricultura no Nordeste. Recife, 1985;
- Abolição e reforma agrária. São Paulo, 1987;
- Geografia, ciência da sociedade: uma introdução à análise do pensamento geográfico. São Paulo, 1987;
- O Nordeste e a Nova República. Recife, 1987;
- O homem e a cana-de-açúcar no vale do Siriji. Recife, 1987;
- Imperialismo e fragmentação do espaço. São Paulo, 1988;
- A Revolução de 30: da República Velha ao Estado Novo. Porto Alegre, 1988;
- O Brasil e a África. São Paulo, 1989;
- Caminhos e descaminhos da Geografia. Campinas, 1989;
- A Itália no Nordeste: contribuição italiana ao Nordeste do Brasil. Recife, 1992
- Uma geografia para o século XXI. Recife, 1993;
- O desafio ecológico: utopia e realidade. São Paulo, 1994;
- A questão do território no Brasil. Recife, 1995.

It is worth noting that besides being a companion on a long journey, his wife Lurdinha was always one of his greatest collaborators, reading and reviewing all the works that the author wrote.

A compulsive reader, Manoel Correia had a private library evaluated between thirty thousand and forty thousand works. New books kept coming to him, either because he acquired them, or because people sent him the publications as a gift. With each passing month, therefore, about a hundred new books would come into his personal collection.

Committed to agrarian reform, particularly with a less wicked and more developed Brazil and Northeast, Manoel Correia de Oliveira Andrade claimed to be a fulfilled man. The Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, as the folklorist Mario Souto Maior wrote, is proud to have been, for many years, the cradle and workshop of this remarkable researcher.

He died on 22 June 2007, in Recife, as a result of heart problems. His body lay in state at the Pernambuco Academy of Letters.


Recife, 23 August 2004.
Translated by Peter Leamy, December 2016.
Updated 04 septiembre 2017.

sources consulted

ARAÚJO, Rita de Cássia Barbosa de(Org.); BERNARDES, Denis: FRENANDES, Eliane Moury. O fio e a trama: depoimento de Manuel Correia de Andrade. Recife: UFPE. Ed. Universitária, 2002.

GASPAR, Lúcia (Coord.); PODEUS, Raquel Batista; SILVA, Rosi Cirstina da. Manuel Correia de Andrade: cronologia e bibliografia. Recife: UFPE. Ed. Universitária, 1996.

MANOEL Correia de Andrade [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 04 set. 2017.  

how to quote this text

Source: VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Manoel Correia de Andrade. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em:dia  mês ano. Ex: 6 ago. 2009.