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Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin…
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Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul

by Michael Reid

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Honestly, I could not wait to finish this book. I did finish though, and it wasn’t the book’s fault. I repeatedly reassured the book, “It’s not you book, it’s me. I just don’t know enough.”

I found the political history of Latin American countries fascinating, mind-numbing and confusing all at the same time. There are so many countries, areas within countries, and political organizations that I quickly became distracted. Then as I moved onto the more recent political and economic history, I knew I was in over my head. What little I could grasp, hold onto, and digest was impactful, but I can’t be entirely sure how clear my understanding actually is. Despite all of this, I did learn a great deal.

The information on the Brazilian people was especially eye-opening for me as it explained many things that I found intriguing when I spent a week in São Paulo (i.e., racial diversity, stronger nationalistic rather than racial ties, dramatic economic disparity). Reid impressed upon the reader his stance that not everything unfortunate that happened in Latin America is the fault of the United States, only some of it. Most of it is due to individual countries’ own lack of planning, economic understanding, geography, social underpinnings, and dependency on militaristic regimes. Not all countries are created nor administrated equally; while they may not get much press coverage in the States, there are many progressive things happening south of the border.
  Carlie | Jul 20, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300116160, Hardcover)

Latin America has often been condemned to failure. Neither poor enough to evoke Africa’s moral crusade, nor as explosively booming as India and China, it has largely been overlooked by the West. Yet this vast continent, home to half a billion people, the world’s largest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percent of global oil, is busily transforming its political and economic landscape.

 

This book argues that rather than failing the test, Latin America’s efforts to build fairer and more prosperous societies make it one of the world’s most vigorous laboratories for capitalist democracy. In many countries—including Brazil, Chile and Mexico—democratic leaders are laying the foundations for faster economic growth and more inclusive politics, as well as tackling deep-rooted problems of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. They face a new challenge from Hugo Chávez’s oil-fuelled populism, and much is at stake. Failure will increase the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States and Europe, jeopardize stability in a region rich in oil and other strategic commodities, and threaten some of the world's most majestic natural environments.

 

Drawing on Michael Reid’s many years of reporting from inside Latin America’s cities, presidential palaces, and shantytowns, the book provides a vivid, immediate, and informed account of a dynamic continent and its struggle to compete in a globalized world.

 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:03 -0400)

Latin America has often been condemned to failure. Not as poor as Africa, nor as booming as India and China, it has largely been overlooked. Yet this vast continent, home to half a billion people, the world's largest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percent of global oil, is transforming its political and economic landscape. This book argues that Latin America's efforts to build fairer and more prosperous societies make it one of the world's most vigorous laboratories for capitalist democracy. In many countries--including Brazil, Chile and Mexico--democratic leaders are laying the foundations for faster economic growth and more inclusive politics, as well as tackling deep-rooted problems. Failure will increase the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States and Europe, jeopardize stability in a region rich in strategic commodities, and threaten some of the world's most majestic natural environments.--From publisher description.… (more)

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Yale University Press

Two editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300116160, 0300151209

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