Epitacio Pessoa (1865-1942). Brazil was one of the emerging world powers to be invited to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Having jettisoned her empire just thirty years before, the Portuguese-speaking nation was showed signs of becoming one of the financial powerhouses not just of Latin America, but of the world. In Paris, the country's delegation was led by Epitacio Pessoa, a brilliant lawyer who negotiated a deal to rescue Brazilian coffee from the German ports where it had languished since the middle of the war. He also helped win a place at the top table for Brazil in the new League of Nations. Pessoa was then rewarded by being elected president of Brazil even though he was in Paris at the time. Yet even as Brazil enjoyed its moment of triumph on the international stage, the country's political system was starting to unravel. Pessoa's presidency ended in failure in 1922, its modest achievements overshadowed by bitter army revolts. This, then, is the story of Epitacio Pessoa, the Treaty of Versailles and the rise and fall of Brazil's tumultuous First Republic.
Michael Streeter is an experienced writer and journalist who has travelled widely in Latin America and has an MA in Latin American politics and history from the University of London. His books include a biography of General Franco and The Mediterranean; Cradle of European Culture. He has written for most British national newspapers and was editor of the Daily Express website. He also runs a news consultancy and teaches. He lives and works in France. Professor Alan Sharp is Provost of the Coleraine Campus at the University of Ulster. He joined the History Department at Ulster in 1971 and has been successively Professor of International Studies, a post in which he helped to set up degrees in International Studies and, later, International Politics and Head of the School of History and International Affairs. His major publications include The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking in Paris, 1919 (1991) amongst others.