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Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
In his first book, Rohter, a former New York Times bureau chief for Rio de Janeiro, breezes through Brazil's colonial history and then organizes an examination of contemporary events around themes like race, arts, industry, and the Amazon. Brazil, we learn, is a wildly enthralling country with a vast racial background, an enormous amount of agricultural opportunity, and a generally laissez-faire attitude; its influence on the rest of the world is substantial. While Brazil's economy and governance seem to be stabilizing, its people, Rohter argues, are stuck in a pattern of long-held race and class prejudice. Having spent 14 years in Brazil, Rohter is able to share many personal anecdotes, lending his concise effort tremendous color. Obviously an expert on the region, Rohter excels at bringing order to a mass of information about a historically disorderly country. (Sept.)
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“Lively and hard-hitting…Rohter’s very contemporary narrative of the past four decades of Brazilian history is peppered with supporting tales and interviews from his reporting…accessible to a first-time tourist but also balanced and analytical enough for any Brazilian…Critical and probing, Brazil on the Rise will largely leave the reader with an affectionate portrait of Brazilians.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“For some time there has been a gap in the market for a good English book on Brazil. [Rohter] dusts off his old notebooks and finds stories that bring Brazil alive.”—The Economist
“No one delivers a more insightful and thoughtful look at Brazil than Larry Rohter. His grasp and deep knowledge of my country gives you a sense of its dynamic and vibrant culture as well as the rapid ascent of its economy and its transformation from dictatorship to democracy. Anyone wanting to understand Brazil’s place in the world today must first read this book.”--Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist
"It is not surprising that Larry Rohter, who has written with great insight on Brazil and South America for many years for The New York Times, has written a splendid and timely, indeed unrivaled, book on Brazil's meteoric economic success. It is a tour de force.”--Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University and author of In Defense of Globalization
Top customer reviews
and presents social, economic and historical issues in a highly readable manner. For someone who
wants a basic understanding of Brazil, this is a great book to start with.
On the plus side, the author hits hard at the issues that are most important for the rise of Brazil
into the twenty-first century. He spent many years in the country as a journalist, and the anecdotes
he shares with the reader, based on his personal experience, are like little gems.
On the negative side, his first four chapters seem to me a bit heavy-handed in their depiction of the
down side of Brazilian culture. It may create a total misconception about the country for anyone
reading the book who is not familiar with Brazil, its culture, and its history. For example, the
beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro are stratified by class, Carnival is commercialized, and soccer
is corrupt. All this might be true, but should that be the primary focus of these three topics?
Other than this criticism, I want to emphasize that the book is very, very good. It is especially
good because, as a journalist, the author has personally talked with key players in Brazilian
culture and politics over a period of many years. He is very much attuned to the sociology, economics
and politics of the country.
One author he mentions is the Brazilian anthropologist Roberto DaMatta. A great book to read about
Brazilian culture is DaMatta's O Que Faz O Brasil, Brasil? It is available on Amazon, but only in
Portuguese. DaMatta has keen insight, a witty style, and the cartoon drawings to illustrate his
themes are hilarious! Another good book on Brazilian culture by an American author is The Brazilians,
by Joseph A. Page, available on Amazon, too (in English).
Hmm, I think if you really want to know Brazil, learn the language, neh?
I am giving Brazil on the Rise four starts instead of five only because I felt uneasy about the
presentation of the first four chapters.
Here is what is amazing about the book: Larry wrote absolute what and how Brazil is. If you are looking to how the Brazilian culture with a nice writing style, this is your guide. Even that I am Brazilian and I believed that I did not need to read about Brazil, I enjoyed some much seen from others prospective that I read the entire book and I bought one just in case I need in the future.