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The Troubled Rise of a Global Power

Michael Reid

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A knowledgeable appreciation of a complex, vital South American giant, destined to be one of the world’s premier economic powers

Experts believe that Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country and its seventh largest economy, will be one of the most important global powers by the year 2030. Yet far more attention has been paid to the other rising behemoths Russia, India, and China. Often ignored and underappreciated, Brazil, according to renowned, award-winning journalist Michael Reid, has finally begun to live up to its potential, but faces important challenges before it becomes a nation of substantial global significance.
After decades of military rule, the fourth most populous democracy enjoyed effective reformist leadership that tamed inflation, opened the country up to trade, and addressed poverty and other social issues, enabling Brazil to become more of an essential participant in global affairs. But as it prepares to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Brazil has been rocked by mass protest. This insightful volume considers the nation’s still abundant problems—an inefficient state, widespread corruption, dysfunctional politics, and violent crime in its cities—alongside its achievements to provide a fully rounded portrait of a vibrant country about to take a commanding position on the world stage.

Michael Reid is The Economist’s Latin American columnist. He lived in Brazil from 1996 to 1999 and has been a frequent visitor since.
"A brilliantly researched and annotated work of scholarship."—Carolyn Curiel, New York Times Book Review, on Forgotten Continent
'An impressively researched, supremely readable account of the conundrum that is Brazil, a country which captures imagination but often eludes understanding. This book bridges the gap. Michael Reid knows his subject intimately and shows how stagnation and dynamism battle it out, again and again, across boardrooms, factories, farms, universities and government offices. Few are better qualified to guess which side will prevail in the future, an outcome we all have a stake in.' - Rory Carroll, author of Commandante: Inside Hugo Chavez's Venezuela
‘Michael Reid’s masterful Brazil sets a new standard for recent books about such a fascinating country. Scrupulously researched and elegantly written, Reid’s book navigates tricky terrain with impressive skill and rare honesty. It takes on prevailing stereotypes and often glib characterisations – either too upbeat or unduly harsh – about this complex, rising global power. The result is an admirably balanced, nuanced interpretation packed with penetrating insights. As Tom Jobim put it, “Brazil is not for beginners”. But for an accomplished journalist and first-rate, trenchant analyst like Reid, it’s a perfect match.’ – Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue
'Michael Reid's study of Brazil is a superb guide to a fascinating and increasingly important country. Reid combines the depth of knowledge of an academic, with a journalist's story-telling skill.' - Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times

“A knowledgeable overview of [a] vast, vibrant country . . . a thorough study deeply informed by on-the-ground reporting.”—Kirkus Reviews

‘Until now, there has been no concise English-language history of Brazil – vastness has perhaps overwhelmed previous attempts. Michael Reid’s Brazil fills the gap with a valuable study likely to remain a well-thumbed reference for years. . .His clear, deeply researched account reaches back 500 years to identify three broad themes that continue to shape Brazil’s development.’—John Paul Rathbone, The Financial Times

‘[An] instructive account. . .‘Brazil’, said the bossa nova singer Tom Jobim, ‘is not for beginners.’ No one will feel like a beginner after finishing Michael Reid’s book.’—David Gelber, Literary Review

‘Perfectly timed for the World Cup, Reid’s book is highly readable and scholarly. His subtle analysis is captured in a subtitle that makes clear that Brazil is both an emerging world power and a nation with deep-seated problems rooted in its colonial past, slavery and official paternalism.’—Gideon Rachman, The Financial Times

‘Reid, a Latin Americanist of many years, opened the Economist’s office in Brazil, in the mid 1990s, and knows the country intimately. His book should become the standard serious introduction to Brazil for anyone needing a concise history combined with a clear analysis of contemporary politics. Having read all the rest, I can say this is the best: elegantly written, concise and incisive.’—Misha Glenny, The Irish Times

“A rich, detailed account of Brazil’s tug-of-war between hope and disappointment”—Marcos Troyjo, Americas Quarterly

“This compelling account of the country’s history . . . represents the most thoughtful and balanced recent assessment of Brazil’s enormous triumphs and crushing failures, and of what lies ahead.”—Peter Hakim, Foreign Affairs

‘The book is an excellent introduction to the country, published at an opportune time, given the recent election in Brazil, and the deeply contrasting visions of the future at stake.’—David Gallagher, TLS.

“Michael Reid is well-qualified to guide us through Brazil’s recent history and along the way offers lively insights and analyses. Each chapter is a gem of succinct, evidence-based analysis where thought-provoking critique is combined with suggestions for remedial action.”—David Corkill, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

“[Reid] gives a well-balanced view on the development of Brazil . . . useful for development practitioners who need to gain an all-round background knowledge.”—Allison Lindner, Progress in Development Studies
ISBN: 9780300216974
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
352 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
27 b/w illus.
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