The Brazilians

The Brazilians

The Brazilians

The Brazilians

Synopsis

"Joseph Page, author of the bestselling Peron, skillfully paints the definitive portrait of Brazil, its history, people, and culture. The fifth largest nation geographically, and sixth in terms of population, Brazil once had one of the strongest market economies in the world. Now, our southern neighbor - the second largest democracy in the Western hemisphere - is struggling to emerge from a deep economic and social crisis, the latest and deepest nosedive in a giddy roller-coaster ride that Brazilians have experienced over the past three decades. Page examines Brazil with an emphasis on the context of this current crisis, and the events leading up to it. In so doing, he reveals the unique character of the Brazilian people and how this character has brought Brazil to where it is today - teetering on the verge of joining the First World, or plunging into unprecedented environmental calamity and social upheaval." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

A search for Brazilianness must begin with the remarkable people who gave the Brazilians their language, religion, and some essential components of their national character. Indeed, the glue that held Brazil together after it achieved independence--in contrast to the centrifugal forces that fragmented Spain's colonial empire--had a markedly "made-in-Portugal" stamp.

Yet the relationship between Brazilians and their mother country is ambivalent at best. Jokes poking fun at the Portuguese enjoy a high degree of popularity in Brazil. Brazilian television soap operas and miniseries dealing with historical themes often depict the Portuguese in a disparaging light. Brazilian municipalities named after Portuguese cities and towns are exceedingly rare (in contrast to designations such as New London, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, Windsor, and Greenwich found in North America). Brazilians seem to take little pride in the fact that the ancestors of most of them came from a tiny country with a truly glorious past.

Because of its geographical location on the crossroads between Europe and Africa, the land that eventually produced the nation of Portugal attracted a steady influx of invaders. the first outsiders came from the north about ten centuries before the birth of Christ. the primitive Iberians left a lasting mark, since the peninsula to which they emigrated on the southwestern edge of the European land mass still bears their name. Celts, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans followed in turn, the latter establishing themselves in what is now southern and central Portugal, the . . .

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