Revised and updated in this second edition, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change vividly traces the development of Brazil over the last 500 years. Author Thomas E. Skidmore, a preeminent authority on Brazil, provides a lively political and economic narrative while also including relevant details on society and culture. Skidmore’s major revision of the colonial chapters begins with the discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral and includes Portugal’s remarkable command of the vast country in the face of Spanish, French, and Dutch colonial interests. The text goes on to cover the move of the Portuguese monarchy to Brazil in 1808, the country’s independence in 1822, establishment of the Empire within the context of expansion of the coffee trade, the importance of slavery in nineteenth-century Brazil, and the move towards abolition. This second edition offers an unparallelled look at Brazil in the twentieth century, including in-depth coverage of the 1930 revolution and Vargas’s rise to power; the ensuing unstable democratic period and the military coups that followed; and the reemergence of democracy in 1985. It concludes with the recent presidency of Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, covering such economic successes as record-setting exports, dramatic foreign debt reduction, and improved income distribution. The second edition features numerous new images and a new bibliographic guide to recent works on Brazilian history for use by both instructors and students.
Informed by the most recent scholarship available, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change, Second Edition, explores the country’s many blessings–ethnic diversity, racial democracy, a vibrant cultural life, and a wealth of natural resources. It also looks at Brazil’s historically severe problems–including political instability, military rule, chronic inflation, and international debt–and its deplorable environmental record. An ideal choice for undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history, this eloquent and detailed look at Brazil will be the standard history of the country for years to come.
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