Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991) discovers an intimate, mutually constructive relationship between modern heterosexuality and patriotism. Freely chosen and productive passionate alliances seemed "natural" to defenders of laissez-faire, and were the basis for legitimating national independence where those alliances could prosper. And, conversely, the fate of the nation was so sublime a goal that it seemed the natural goad to making passionate alliances. In one country after another, including Brazil with its very peculiar history, the generation between 1850 and 1880 produced national novels that are still required reading in their respective countries. They are part of a civic education, where teenagers learn that passion and patriotism go together, that decent citizens make alliances across class, race, and regional lines in productive rebellion against colonial and corporatist practices. The book speculates generally on the mutual construction of marital love (a modern literary invention, to follow Foucault) and collective dreams of national community (to follow Anderson). Sex and nation are not separable, despite the narrow focus of other speculators on modernity. Together they draw readers into shared personal desires and public dreams of social coherence and economic prosperity.