Brazil: A Century of Change

Brazil: A Century of Change

Brazil: A Century of Change

Brazil: A Century of Change

Synopsis

Brazil, the largest of the Latin American nations, is fast becoming a potent international economic player as well as a regional power. This English translation of an acclaimed Brazilian anthology provides critical overviews of Brazilian life, history, and culture and insight into Brazil's development over the past century. The distinguished essayists, most of whom are Brazilian, provide expert perspectives on the social, economic, and cultural challenges that face Brazil as it seeks future directions in the age of globalization.

All of the contributors connect past, present, and future Brazil. Their analyses converge on the observation that although Brazil has undergone radical changes during the past one hundred years, trenchant legacies of social and economic inequality remain to be addressed in the new century. A foreword by Jerry Davila highlights the volume's contributions for a new, English-reading audience.

The contributors are:
Cristovam Buarque
Aspasia Camargo
Gilberto Dupas
Celso Furtado
Afranio Garcia
Celso Lafer, Jose Seixas Lourenco
Renato Ortiz
Moacir Palmeira
Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro
Ignacy Sachs
Paulo Singer
Herve Thery
Jorge Wilheim

Excerpt

JERRY DÁVILA

Brazil is the country of the future and always will be. This common refrain captures three basic sides of Brazilian identity: a sense of tremendous potential; anxiety about the country’s problems, particularly the problem of deep social inequality; and a sense that Brazil is in process—that change is constant. This book focuses on those challenges, examining patterns of change and continuity in the twentieth century. The contributors to this volume have all been involved in Brazil’s transition to democracy, either in policy making or in policy analysis. They represent an intellectual cross-section of Brazilian governance stretching from the first civilian government since military rule to the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. They reflect an emerging consensus in diagnosing and defining potential solutions for Brazilian problems of economic, regional, and racial integration. This consensus is particularly remarkable because it spans the center-right governments of Sarney and Collor, the social democratic Cardoso government, and the leftist Lula government, despite a culture of intense political competition.

Because of their leading academic and policy roles, there is no better group of observers than the contributors to this volume to comment on Brazil’s postdictatorship political consensus and on the unfinished challenge of unraveling the country’s inequalities. The authors offer a range of interpretations of Brazil’s potential, of its patterns of social exclusion, and of the means to manage the country’s transformation. These interpretations are revealing both because of the picture they draw of twentieth-century Brazil and because of the types of understanding they show about governance and public policy going into the twentyfirst century.

Brazil faces an ongoing transition to democracy. Democratization does not mean simply that the generals have returned to the barracks and that civilian leaders have been elected. It also means that a society has been created in which rights are equally shared and in which all members of the society share an active . . .

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