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Thomas Skidmore, 2016.

Thomas Elliot Skidmore (Troy, 22 July 1932 – 11 June 2016) was an American historian and scholar who specialized in Brazilian history.[1]


Skidmore graduated in political science and philosophy in 1954 from Denison University. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to study philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford where he met his wife Felicity. He received a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1956 and a master's degree in 1959. He obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1960 with a thesis on the German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi.[2]

His attention shifted to South America after the Cuban Revolution. His Harvard post-doctorate focused on Brazil. In 1967 he published Politics in Brazil: 1930-64, An Experiment in Democracy.[2]

In 1966, Skidmore joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He became a full professor in 1968. In 1986, Skidmore moved to Brown University.[2]

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Politics in Brazil 1930–1964: An Experiment in Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1967)
  • Black Into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (Oxford University Press, 1974)
  • Modern Latin America, with Peter H. Smith and James N. Green (Oxford University Press, multiple editions, 1984–2005)
  • The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil: 1964-1985 (1988)
  • Television, Politics, and the Transition to Democracy in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993, ed.)
  • “Bi-Racial U.S.A. vs Multi-Racial Brazil: Is the Contrast Still Valid?,” Journal of Latin American Studies 25, no. 2 (1993): 373-385
  • Brazil: Five Centuries of Change (Oxford University Press, 1999)


  1. ^ Thomas Skidmore (1932-2016): A Tribute. Latin America Centre. University of Oxford.
  2. ^ a b c "Thomas E. Skidmore Collection". Retrieved 2009-07-08.