Brazil is a huge country which occupies half a continent and contains major rivers, rich mineral resources, and a large segment of tropical forest. It has been a colony, an Empire, and a democratic and dictatorial republic. The country has experienced rapid economic development this century but still retains an active agricultural frontier. Brazil is experiencing rapid urbanization but the elegant apartment blocks stand in sharp contrast to the nation's shanty towns and its acute rural poverty. The Brazilian population includes Amerindians, descendants of African slaves, and immigrants from Portugal and other parts of Europe. This work is a fully revised and updated edition of the 1985 original volume.