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Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed Hardcover – August 31, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

“A powerful and well-informed argument about the state of Brazil’s economy and why the country with its vast array of natural resources now seems poised to achieve the world power status that has long eluded it…the long-awaited future has arrived.”—The Associated Press
“A timely, readable study of Brazil’s history and current prospects…Offers an evenhanded consideration of some of Brazil’s most celebrated artifacts, including Carnaval, soccer and samba…With the recent granting of the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro, Rohter’s accomplished overview proves a solid brush-up.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[Rohter] successfully illuminates some of the more convoluted issues within Brazilian society. He not only addresses the stereotypical Brazilian topics of soccer, beaches, and the Amazon, but he also tackles such complex subjects as oil, race, and politics…Recommended.”—Library Journal
"Offers fascinating journalistic engagement with the personalities and stories of modern Brazil...Recommended."--Choice

“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

“No one is better equipped than Larry Rohter to weigh and measure Brazil's remarkable transformation of recent years. Rohter knew the country in less happy times - of military dictatorship and failed economy. Then, by good fortune, as The New York Times's long-time bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro, he was again in place to record, explain and analyze Brazil's much-awaited emergence as an economic power and a self-confident democracy. This book is essential reading both for those interested in Brazil and Latin America as such and those seeking to understand the fast-changing international landscape of the early 21st century in which Brazil is now an important new player.” -- Alan Riding, author of Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans.
"Brazil is well on its way to becoming a great economic power, but it also is a country with a long and complex history. Larry Rohter knows the country inside out, loves it, and yet is able to bring an objective lens to help us understand where Brazil is coming from, the opportunities and challenges that it faces today, and its manifest destiny. A must-read."--Anil K. Gupta, co-author of Getting China and India Right


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230618871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230618879
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a brazilian living in the USA I wanted to read an American analysis of the recent events in Brazil. Instead I was surprised first with a short chapter that tries to condense the five hundred years-long brazilian history and second with a long rant about sexual oddities, racism, and the real meaning of beach, soccer and carnival. All this was permeated with comparisons to the "Anglo-saxon" values. Only the second half of the book deals with the rising on its title but without any hard fact to corroborate its text. Finally the book concludes with profiles of the current candidates to the Brazilian presidency.

In summary the book is a very long op-ed recollection of personal impressions of an american journalist working in Brazil. It can only be of some use to people that know absolutely nothing about Brazil, but i don't recommend it as a good introduction to my country and also as an in-depth analysis of the political and economic changes that unleashed the Brazil rising that the book title refers to.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Rohter enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame after President Lula illegal and clumsy attempt to expel him from Brazil for reporting in the New York Times about Lula's abuse with alcohol. So I ran to the library to get Deu no New York Times (O Brasil segundo a otica de um reporter do jornal mais influente do mundo), published in Brazil (no English edition available). I liked the book so much, and after so many recent headlines (just check the latest issues of The Economist) about Brazil successful agribusiness model and how it has achieved sustainable energy independence (sugarcane ethanol makes up 50% of the gasoline market + the recent discovery of huge off shore deposits of gas and oil), I also rushed to buy this book.

Chapter 1, Brazil's history in a nutshell, and chapters 6 through 10 are a must read for anyone interested in understanding the Brazilian economic miracle. Five stars! Unfortunately, chapters 2 and 3, which by the way are completely out of context for a book dealing with "Brazil on the Rise", present a biased view of Brazil, with unfair generalizations and passing judgment based on his moral and religious view of the world. And chapter 2 in particular is written through the lenses of his apparent tight Protestant beliefs as he unnecessarily passes moral judgment on Brazilian sexuality and sexual preferences as viewed by him and supported just by anecdotes. The comparison Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I awaited this book with great hopes, but these were fulfilled only in part.- The Introduction is excellent, it is based on Stefan Zweig's famous title "Brazil The Country of the Future".- And the last five chapters (6 to 10), which are about Brazil's economy and politics, are extremely informative and very illuminating.-
However, I was very surprised, disappointed and indignant about the first five chapters,because I found them intolerably critical and negative.- To take only one example: Chapter Three ("The Myth of a Racial Paradise") attempts, unconvincingly, to demonstrate that Racism in Brazil, against black people and mulattos, is worse than even in the South of the United States.-
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Format: Paperback
The writing is superb, crystal clear and interesting. The high level research uncovers facts new even to Brazilian nationals. The sad part is that its strong biases and prejudices make the book unusable by anyone, Brazilian or not. The theme is re-hashed from Rohter's earlier book: Brazil is large and rich, but Brazilians in no way deserve or are competent enough to manage the blessed country they inherited. His barbs against Brazilian society go back to the 1500s, when the country was discovered. The condescending tone is annoying. A lengthy discussion about perceived sexual preferences is bizarre, not to say 100% out of place. The advice that Brazil should emulate the US as an interracial paradise is laughable. Rohter was lucky that Lula gave him the proverbial 15 minutes of fame by temporarily revoking his Brazilian visa; unbiased writing certainly would not have earner him this recognition. Save your money.
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Format: Hardcover
Brazil has experienced a huge improvement in its international statue during last 10 years. How did Brazil do it? The book is interesting, but I am not sure it gave me an understanding why Brazil had surged. Larry Rohter is an American journalist who is a former New York Times bureau chief in Brazil. In 2004 he gained notoriety by publishing an article in NYT claiming that the President Lula was a feeble-minded alcoholic. Lula and the Brazilians took umbrage claiming that Rohter's article was politically motivated. Fortunately in reality Lula turned out to be a successful, sober-minded president, presiding over a significant rise of Brazil international statute and economic power. As for the article, some say that it was an attempt of political "character-assassination" by the U.S. media against Lula who led a revolt among the developing nations against the U.S. agenda at Doha round of free trade negotiations in 2003, to say nothing about Lula's criticism of the war in Iraq. Who knows.
As far as the book, while it is packed with information, it is, to my taste, a bit wishy-washy and goosy-doosy. Brazilian democracy has flaws. Whose doesn't? Rohter is writing about the samba nation, Brazilian insecurities, and complexes of "economic giant but political dwarf", how Brazilians allegedly dislike manual labor, ostensibly prone to racial discrimination. These are conventional fallacies. Rohter, who is native of Chicago, I think, goes on a limb by claiming that Brazil has a culture of unusually wide-spread corruption in big cities. I think he gets Brazil like so many Americans get Russia - through the prism of American Weltanschauung and the English language, which preprograms you to looks at things in a certain light. His bias is too apparent; he may even flaunt it a bit.
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