Brazil in Focus
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Code: 1 899365 00 1
by Jan Rocha
Brazil is a land of global superlatives, boasting the best football, the largest rainforest and the world's worst social and economic inequity.
Its vibrant culture is best known for carnival and samba and attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Carnival capital of Rio also showcases Brazil's contrasts, as the shanty towns of the dispossessed cling to the spectacular mountain sides overlooking the beach playgrounds of the rich.
* History: Slavery and the sugar economy during the years as a Portuguese colony; the dictatorship of Getulio Vargas; the military government from 1964-85 and the return to democracy.
* People: The 'social apartheid' of extreme inequality; discrimination against Brazil's blacks and Indians; the women's movement; street children and child labour; Christian and African religions.
* Politics: Political parties and the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso; the popular movements of the shanty towns and peasant villages.
* Economy: Brazil's historical role as a supplier of raw materials to the rich nations of the North; industrialisation after World War II; the debt crisis of the 1980s; the real plan and economic policy under President Cardoso.
* The Amazon and the environment: Myths and legends of the Amazon; economic development and its impact on the environment; urban pollution.
* Culture: A land of carnival and samba; Brazilian literature, cinema and architecture; football; gambling; the madd media; Brazilian cuisine.
* Where to go, what to see: Important landmarks and historical sites; the author's expert tips on how to get the most out of a brief visit.
What reviewers say:
"One of the best introductions - especially strong on politics and social movements of the post military era."
Rough Guide to Brazil
Jan Rocha has been writing on Brazil for over 20 years as correspondent for BBC TV and Radio, and The Guardian