Book tells the life of Marshal Rondon in postage stamps

The book “Rondon, the marshal of peace – The life of a national hero told through Philately”, by Maurício Melo Meneses, became a new milestone in the life history of the people from Mato Grosso, born in the allotment of Morro Redondo, Campos of Mimoso, in the then district of Santo Antônio do Leverger.

With 128 pages, pleasant and thought-provoking, the work, launched by Editora Mackenzie in May, is richly illustrated by stamps, which portray aspects of the life of Marechal Rondon, from the periods in which he carried out his great work that entered the history of Brazil. Images and texts harmonize and complement each other, allowing the reader to get to know the life of the important character in a playful, informative and didactic way.

In the introduction, the author emphasizes that to speak of Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon is essentially to allude to a national hero. “Marechal Rondon, as he is popularly known, is an example of life and a standard of civic life for all Brazilians”. Emphasizing that the biographer was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by physicist Albert Einstein, he reveals that, in 2015, through Law 13,141, his name was included in the Book of Heroes and Heroines of the Fatherland.

The book features testimonies from several personalities, who add accounts of Rondon’s life, reinforcing the importance and unusual character of Maurício Meneses’ work. “The author brings to the feelings what is alive in the memory about one of the most emblematic characters in the construction of a country called Brazil. He masterfully describes the abundant itineraries of the life of this icon in an unusual combination of literature and philately”, says the Secretary of State for Education, Alan Porto, in the presentation text of the work.

On the back cover of the book, there are relevant phrases from Brazilian and foreign personalities, starting with Theodore Roosevelt, former US president and member of the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition: “Rondon, as a man, has all the virtues of a priest, he is a puritanical perfection unimaginable in the modern age. And as a professional is such a scientist, so great is his body of knowledge, that he could be considered a sage”.

Another famous admirer of the marshal was the anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro, who, when asked by representatives of India, at an international conference, if Rondon had been a disciple of Gandhi, said that “this question is worth a judgment of attitude that reaches Brazilian pacifist thinking. formulated by Rondon: die if necessary, never kill”.

Or, again, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, a Brazilian poet who, in an excerpt taken from the poem Pranto Geral dos Índios, recalled Rondon: “You were one of our people returning to the origin and you carried in your hand the thread that speaks and you extended it to the greatest secret from the forest… Oh, Rondon, you brought with you the feeling of the land…”.

In addition, Manuel Bandeira joins the admirers of the Brazilian poet. He saw hope and faith in the biographer’s journey: “Rondon’s life is a comfort for every Brazilian who walks in disbelief in his homeland”.

Unusual Ideal

Maurício Meneses’ book reflects each of these and many other visions that one can have of Rondon, a sui generis hero, who, in order not to kill, or to let a single man be killed, preferred to face death 100 times. “We present to readers a unique biography of Marechal Rondon, which does not intend to be exhaustive or extremely detailed, but aims to be remarkable in each of its pages”.

“The great thought of the youth of Rondon was carried out”, continues the author, as the future Marshal from Mato Grosso not only connected the distant corners of Mato Grosso, but also connected the Midwest and North regions of the country to Rio de Janeiro. Janeiro, then capital of the Republic, solving the old and worrying problems of communication and security in those parts of the nation”.

Such knowledge, acquired in his wanderings through the sertões, made the contributions of the “patron of communications in Brazil”, as he is known, exceed the work of unifying the territory, through the installation of telegraph networks.

From 1927 to 1930, Rondon was responsible for inspecting the Brazilian borders, from the extreme north of the country to the borders with Argentina and Uruguay. The legacy of this contribution can be identified in an expression coined by Rondon himself: “from Oiapoque to Chuí”, which refers to these two municipalities, the first in the northernmost point of the Brazilian territory, in Amapá, and the second, in the southernmost, in Rio Grande do Sul.

The conclusions reached by Maurício Meneses when presenting him also as an indigenist, perhaps translate what probably made Rondon become the only Brazilian to be nominated, three times, for the Nobel Peace Prize – one of them by no less than a of the greatest scientists of all time, the German Albert Einstein.

However, Marechal Rondon can and should be seen through many other lenses. His contributions to the consolidation of modern Brazil do not even fit in the thousands of kilometers he traveled on foot. Therefore, as Jaguaribe de Matos, an official member of the Rondon Commission, Brigadier General and commander of the 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution, emphasizes, they must always be remembered: what achievements in each of the steps of this fund to walk”.

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