Brazil is a vast, complex country with great potential but an uneven history. This engaging study will introduce readers to the history of Brazil from its origins to today. It emphasizes current issues and problems, including the country's return to democracy after more than two decades of harsh military rule and the economic consequences of adopting free-market policies as part of the creation of the global marketplace. Levine, a noted Brazilianist, explains the legacy of slavery on race relations, the stubborn persistence of barriers to upward mobility, and the characteristics of Brazil's exuberant culture. The author draws not only from a broad array of traditional sources but from oral histories and postings on the Internet.