Boitempo was founded in 1995 by Ivana Jinkings. The publisher's name, inspired by a poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, pays tribute to the greatest Brazilian poet and also to the founder of the first Boitempo, the communist leader Raimundo Jinkings, who is Ivana's father. The publishing house has solidified its reputation by producing books of recognized quality appreciated by readers and awarded prestigious literary prizes. Boitempo boasts a consistent catalog and clear editorial choices, making it the largest independent publisher of critical thought in the Lusophone world.
For decades, Boitempo has been dedicated to publishing essays related to the human sciences and works of radical fiction for rebels of all ages. Among its key foreign authors are Angela Davis, Antonio Gramsci, David Harvey, Domenico Losurdo, Giorgio Agamben, György Lukács, István Mészáros, Judith Butler, Patricia Hill Collins, Vladímir Lênin, and Slavoj Žižek. In Brazil, it is the publisher of some of the most important radical thinkers of our time, such as Christian Dunker, Francisco de Oliveira, José Paulo Netto, Maria Rita Kehl, Michael Löwy, Paulo Arantes, and Ricardo Antunes.
Boitempo gained worldwide recognition for its editions of Marxist works, notably the Marx-Engels Collection. Dedicated to a rigorous editorial rescue of the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the excellence of these editions has earned recognition and praise from some of the most important researchers of Marxist literature worldwide. Translations are carried out directly from the originals and complemented with extensive support material for readers.
From the beginning, Boitempo has focused on the fundamental task of reader education through the organization of events such as courses, debates, exhibitions, and parties, aiming to bring the public closer to its authors and extend radical thought beyond the walls of universities. The publisher also produces free and accessible content on its social media platforms. Examples abound, from the international seminars organized by Margem Esquerda, its semiannual magazine, to Angela Davis's conference that drew over 22,000 people to Ibirapuera Park (São Paulo) in 2019. From courses and live events that have made TV Boitempo one of the largest publisher channels on YouTube worldwide to thematic specials and hot theoretical coverage of major contemporary geopolitical events, the Boitempo Blog has earned international recognition.
With a focus on civic education, the publisher created Boitatá, its children's imprint, on its twentieth anniversary. Committed to the understanding that politics is also a matter for children, the catalog, featuring works by renowned illustrated literature figures such as Alexandre Rampazo, Janaina Tokitaka, Nelson Cruz, and Olga de Dios, seeks to help young readers recognize themselves as social agents and agents of change.
Responding to a significant demand from its reading community, Boitempo established Armas da crítica in 2020, its book club dedicated to building a library for interpreting and transforming the world.