Shortlisted for the Jabuti Prize for the Best Brazilian Book Published Abroad
Since Europeans first reached Brazil in 1500 it has been an unfailing source of extraordinary fascination. More than any other part of the 'New World' it displayed both the greatest beauty and grandeur and witnessed scenes of the most terrible European ferocity.
Brazil: A Biography, written by two of Brazil's leading historians and a bestseller in Brazil itself, is a remarkable attempt to convey the overwhelming diversity and challenges of this huge country from its origins to the 21st century - itself larger than the contiguous USA and still in some regions not fully mapped. The book's major themes are the near-continuous battles to create both political institutions and social frameworks that would allow stable growth, legal norms and protection for all its citizens. Brazil's failure to achieve these except in the very short term has been tragic, but even now it remains one of the world's great experiments - creative, harsh, unique and as compelling a story for its inhabitants as for outsiders.