The History of Brazil / Edition 1

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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.

The history of Brazil unfolds in narrative chronological chapters beginning with the Portuguese conquest, then moving on to the colonial period, Independence, the nineteenth-century monarchy—the only one in Latin America—the Republic, the nationalist regime under Vargas, the eclipse of democracy under military rule in the 1960s and 1970s, and the current democratically elected government under Cardoso, who was elected in 1998 to his second term. Short biographical sketches of 40 prominent Brazilians, a glossary of Portuguese terms, and a bibliographical essay add reference value to this work. This is the only up-to-date history of Brazil, current through 1999.

"Relatively bland historical introduction for general readers emphasizes economic development, social inequality, and apparent inability of reforms to address inequality. Begins in 1500, but more than half of volume is devoted to post-1930 Brazil and contemporary issues. Getâulio Vargas is central both as a reformist turning point in politics and as a representative enigma. Useful, but much less piquant and heartfelt than author's Brazilian legacies (item #bi 00006099#)"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Introduces the history of Brazil from its origins to today. Emphasizes current issues and problems, including the country's return to democracy after decades of military rule, and the consequences of adopting free-market policies as part of the creation of the global marketplace. Also discusses the legacy of slavery, barriers to upward mobility, and Brazil's culture. Includes a timeline, notes on key figures, and a glossary. Levine is director of Latin American studies at the University of Miami-Coral Gables. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
Praise for Levine's Secret Missions to Cuba:

"..a valuable contribution to any understanding of the politics and personalities of the Cuban exile in Miami."—Joan Didion

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Product Details

Meet the Author

ROBERT M. LEVINE is Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. He has written more than twenty books on Latin American history, has produced several original documentary videotapes on Latin American subjects, and is co-editor of the Luso-Brazilian Review.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword


An Earthly Paradise

Early Brazil

Independence and Empire

The Republic (1889-1930)

The Vargas Era (1930-1954)

Dictatorship and Democracy (1954-1999)

Political Culture

Social and Economic Realities


Glossary of Selected Terms

Bibliographical Essay


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