Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed

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Overview

Two decades ago Brazil had a debt that made some Third World countries blush, but today it has the world's eighth largest economy, poised to overtake France. It has achieved energy independence and, with the discovery of the largest oil field in the last century, is becoming a major exporter of crude oil to the United States. With its successful bid for the 2016 Olympics, Brazil, at last, is ready to take its place on the world stage. In this richly narrated and textured look at the country today, New York Times reporter Larry Rohter gives us the authoritative account of the culture and politics of a country that endlessly fascinates Americans.

 

Rohter delivers the first modern look at today’s Brazil, uncovering:

 

* how Brazilians handle the burden of being custodians of the
  Amazon rainforest;

 

* Brazil’s latest exports, from the samba, supermodels, and
   soccer, to airplane parts;

 

* the myth of Brazil’s sexually charged culture, with three-
  quarters of the population devoutly Roman Catholic;

 

* how drug-controlled favelas thrive amidst the world’s
  highest standard of living.

 

Brazil continues to be a country fraught with contradictions which Rohter reveals through interviews with every important political business, cultural, and religious leader on the scene. Critics have said that he knows the country better than Brazilians themselves. This is a cutting-edge look at a country that will be a major player on the world stage coming years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his first book, Rohter, a former New York Times bureau chief for Rio de Janeiro, breezes through Brazil's colonial history and then organizes an examination of contemporary events around themes like race, arts, industry, and the Amazon. Brazil, we learn, is a wildly enthralling country with a vast racial background, an enormous amount of agricultural opportunity, and a generally laissez-faire attitude; its influence on the rest of the world is substantial. While Brazil's economy and governance seem to be stabilizing, its people, Rohter argues, are stuck in a pattern of long-held race and class prejudice. Having spent 14 years in Brazil, Rohter is able to share many personal anecdotes, lending his concise effort tremendous color. Obviously an expert on the region, Rohter excels at bringing order to a mass of information about a historically disorderly country. (Sept.)
Library Journal
"Brazil is not for beginners" is a quote attributed to famed Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. With Brazil's rise as a global player, Rohter (culture reporter, New York Times), who has lived in Brazil for over 14 years, recognizes that more and more people worldwide are becoming interested in what it means to be Brazilian. In this book, he successfully illuminates some of the more convoluted issues within Brazilian society. He not only addresses the stereotypical Brazilian topics of soccer, beaches, and the Amazon, but he also tackles such complex subjects as oil, race, and politics, concentrating on the last 25 years, during which, owing to continuity within its own political system and stability in its national currency and overall economy, Brazil has become a major contributor to global politics and economics for arguably the first time in its history. Rohter's conclusions show Brazil to be a country that on the surface may seem straightforward but upon careful examination reveals itself to be much more intricate. VERDICT Recommended for a general audience interested in South American/Latin American social science and international affairs, particularly as related to Brazil.—Jeremy Spencer, Univ. of California, Davis, Law Lib.
From the Publisher
“Lively and hard-hitting…Rohter’s very contemporary narrative of the past four decades of Brazilian history is peppered with supporting tales and interviews from his reporting…accessible to a first-time tourist but also balanced and analytical enough for any Brazilian…Critical and probing, Brazil on the Rise will largely leave the reader with an affectionate portrait of Brazilians.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“For some time there has been a gap in the market for a good English book on Brazil. [Rohter] dusts off his old notebooks and finds stories that bring Brazil alive.”—The Economist

“A powerful and well-informed argument about the state of Brazil’s economy and why the country with its vast array of natural resources now seems poised to achieve the world power status that has long eluded it…the long-awaited future has arrived.”—The Associated Press

“A timely, readable study of Brazil’s history and current prospects…Offers an evenhanded consideration of some of Brazil’s most celebrated artifacts, including Carnaval, soccer and samba…With the recent granting of the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro, Rohter’s accomplished overview proves a solid brush-up.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[Rohter] successfully illuminates some of the more convoluted issues within Brazilian society. He not only addresses the stereotypical Brazilian topics of soccer, beaches, and the Amazon, but he also tackles such complex subjects as oil, race, and politics…Recommended.”—Library Journal

"Offers fascinating journalistic engagement with the personalities and stories of modern Brazil...Recommended."—Choice

“No one delivers a more insightful and thoughtful look at Brazil than Larry Rohter. His grasp and deep knowledge of my country gives you a sense of its dynamic and vibrant culture as well as the rapid ascent of its economy and its transformation from dictatorship to democracy. Anyone wanting to understand Brazil’s place in the world today must first read this book.”—Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist

"It is not surprising that Larry Rohter, who has written with great insight on Brazil and South America for many years for The New York Times, has written a splendid and timely, indeed unrivaled, book on Brazil's meteoric economic success. It is a tour de force.”—Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University and author of In Defense of Globalization

“No one is better equipped than Larry Rohter to weigh and measure Brazil's remarkable transformation of recent years. Rohter knew the country in less happy times - of military dictatorship and failed economy. Then, by good fortune, as The New York Times's long-time bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro, he was again in place to record, explain and analyze Brazil's much-awaited emergence as an economic power and a self-confident democracy. This book is essential reading both for those interested in Brazil and Latin America as such and those seeking to understand the fast-changing international landscape of the early 21st century in which Brazil is now an important new player.” — Alan Riding, author of Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans.

 

 

"Brazil is well on its way to becoming a great economic power, but it also is a country with a long and complex history. Larry Rohter knows the country inside out, loves it, and yet is able to bring an objective lens to help us understand where Brazil is coming from, the opportunities and challenges that it faces today, and its manifest destiny. A must-read."—Anil K. Gupta, co-author of Getting China and India Right

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230618879
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Rohter served as a Newsweek correspondent and later as the New York Times bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro for fourteen years. He is widely considered the top expert on Brazil. Currently he is the culture reporter for The New York Times. He lives in Hoboken, NJ.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The "Country of the Future" Reveals Itself 1

One A History of Booms and Busts 11

Two Sin and Salvation South of the Equator 33

Three The Myth of a Racial Paradise 59

Four The Tropical Lifestyle 81

Five Creativity, Culture, and "Cannibalism" 107

Six Industrial Giant, Agricultural Superpower 139

Seven Energy to Burn: Petroleum, Ethanol, and Hydropower 171

Eight The Amazon: Nationalism and Paranoia in the Jungle 201

Nine Becoming a "Serious Country" 223

Ten Politics After Lula and FHC 251

Acknowledgments 277

Bibliography 281

Index 283

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Customer Reviews

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