This book is the result of 36 years of research done by the author, interviewing the pioneers, consulting old publications and gathering many documents. It is the biggest and most minute survey in the history of the Rio samba schools. There are more than 400 pages divided in three parts. In the first, Sérgio Cabral goes to the origins of the samba schools; he carefully highlights the role of the pioneer samba composers and tells us of the development of the schools in over 60 parades. There occurred a process whereby they passed from victims of social and cultural prejudice and police persecution to stars of what is now considered the biggest show on earth. In the second part 17 interviews were chosen from the many that took place since 1960, year when he began writing about the samba schools. Finally, in the third part, you find all the results of the parades since 1932. This book corrects some mistakes that have been repeated over the years and clears up any doubts that continued to this day about the results of the parades in some years.