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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Brazilian history. However..., 22 Oct 1999
As someone looking for a concise overview of Brazilian history I found Thomas.E. Skidmore's book an excellent introduction. The prose is clear and analytical; and there are numerous graphs and diagrams that brilliantly illustrate some of the more difficult-to-digest statistics. Published in 1999 it is also (at the time of writing) the most up to date book on Brazilian history currently available: ending with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's unprecedented election to a second term in office.
However, all praise aside I must also make a few reservations. Anyone looking for a narrative history of Brazil will be disappointed: this book is for undergraduates and therefore reads like an academic textbook. It is also rather disproportionately balanced towards the modern. Only 89 pages are dedicated to Brazil's first 400 years of history; whilst almost 150 pages are given over to this century. Brazil's recent past has hinged almost exclusively on its economy and there is considerable economic analysis throughout the book. Those not familiar with the technicalities of economics (myself included) should be warned: it can be quite hard going!
Reservations aside though, there is still plenty to praise in this book and it is certainly a worthy starting point for anyone interested in Brazil.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Look At Brazilian History, 31 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Skidmore has been writing about Brazilian history for several decades now and is one of the top American authorities on the subject. This is a fascinating look at five centuries in a fascinating country. It unfortunately doesn't have enough information on Brazilian music (which is a vital part of the culture), but for that there are books like "The Brazilian Sound."
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Brazil: Five Centuries of Change
Brazil: Five Centuries of Change by Thomas E Skidmore (Paperback - 11 Jun 2009)
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