The Brazilians

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A country warmly hospitable and surprisingly violent, physically beautiful, yet appallingly poor—these are the contrasts Joseph Page explores in The Brazilians, a monumental book on one of the most colorful and paradoxical places on earth.Once one of the strongest market economies in the world, Brazil now struggles to emerge from a deep economic and social crisis, the latest and deepest nose-dive in a giddy roller-coaster ride that Brazilians have experienced over the past three decades. Page examines Brazil in the context of this current crisis and the events leading up to it. In so doing, he reveals the unique character of the Brazilian people and how this national character has brought the country to where it is today—teetering on the verge of joining the First World, or plunging into unprecedented environmental calamity and social upheaval. Not since Luigi Barzini’s The Italians has a society been so deeply and accurately portrayed.

"Introduction to Brazil by a law professor who has been an engaged visitor since the 1960s. Themes of race, political power, violence, environment, religious diversity, and popular culture are made accessible through biographical profiles. Balances exuberance and indignation better than most recent introductions, but at a length that may exhaust the general reader. See Levine's work (item #bi 00006099#) or Eakin's (item #bi 00006100#) for more succinct introductory studies"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vast in area, rich in resources and uniquely integrated in racial composition, here is Brazil in all its beauty, contradictions, promises and disappointments. Page (Peron), whose love affair with the country spans 30 years, probes deep into the layers of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, African and Indian heritage that make Brazil so alluring and paradoxical. Idealistic and pragmatic, exuberant and passive, its people have survived colonialism, slavery, dictatorships and populism and now struggle toward a viable capitalism in a society characterized by extremes of wealth and poverty. The successful synergism of many races-``miscegenation has been a common and accepted practice''-exists side by side with real discrimination. In this magnetizing study, Page also explores the meld of Catholicism and Pentecostalism, of native Indian healers and modern medicine, of African rhythms and Western music. He discusses the environmental and investment scenes as well as the addiction to soccer and to the telenovelas of the powerful Globus media empire, which so engross the population that the realities of life often seem to merge with their plots and characters. In its depth, scope and accessibility, this is an important work. (July)
Page (law, Georgetown U.) follows his Peron with a comprehensive portrait of the history, people, and culture of Brazil. He surveys the various cultures that have contributed to the population mix, the power structure, violence, spiritual aspects, and national characteristics such as soccer madness, telenovelas, and Carnival. Not illustrated. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201441918
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 564
  • Sales rank: 856,333
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 1.26 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph A. Page, a professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, is the author of Perón, which was translated into Spanish and became a South American bestseller. He also wrote The Revolution That Never Was and Bitter Wages.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    Muito Bem

    Excellent - well written, informed, informative and a pleasure to read - no matter what your level of knowledge of Brazil is.

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