The Story of a Country Transformed
Larry Rohter was a journalist in Brazil for 14 years and from his experiences he offers in this book some unique insights into Brazilian history, politics, culture and more. In 10 topical chapters Rohter’s easy-to-read book provides a look at Brazilian history and the extraordinary changes the country has undergone -- and is still undergoing. Rother covers many significant issues, but several stand out more than others. Namely: the country’s history, culture, politics, and finally its economy/natural wealth.
The first chapter focuses on Brazil’s founding and history up until present. When the Portuguese were blown off course to Asia onto the coasts of Brazil in 1500, the Portuguese knew they had found a land filled with opportunities. The main attraction was the abundance of brazilwood which could be used for manufacturing luxurious fabrics in Europe. Over the centuries, exploration led to the discovery of more resources such as sugar, coffee, and precious metals that had made it a sought after country for colonization. Even to this day, Brazil maintains the image of a land with limitless resources since the recent discovery of oil and gas reserves and other commodities.
Because of the vast amount of Brazil’s resources, its history is veiled in European powers struggling to colonize the country. The last few centuries have been filled with the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch fighting over the control of the land. However in the early 1700 the threat of outside European powers vanished and the colonization of the Portuguese was prominent. However, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that would lead to the nation of Brazil. As Napoeleon’s power spread across Europe, the Portu...
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...ed the economy ended and allowed the economy to grow. FHC became president in January 1995 and was able to initiate more changes. During his eight years in office, education and healthcare dramatically improved. Students attending high school and colleges increased while the drop out rate decreased. Infant mortality rate decreased as well as the number of deaths from AIDS reduced. On January 1, 2003 FHC passed his power over to his successor, Lula. Lula’s eight years in office have been called the most corrupt in Brazil’s history as a republic. His excessive drinking and abuse of power (almost like a dictator) has led to some criticism but as far as most Brazilians are concerned, most fault lies with Congress and cabinet ministers. Overall, during Lula’s term income grew, distribution of wealth improved significantly, and the hyperinflation was completely rid of.
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