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Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  57 reviews
In this hugely praised narrative, New York Times reporter Larry Rohter takes the reader on a lively trip through Brazil's history, culture, and booming economy. Going beyond the popular stereotypes of samba, supermodels, and soccer, he shows us a stunning and varied landscape--from breathtaking tropical beaches to the lush and dangerous Amazon rainforest--and how a complex ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  359 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Fred Landis
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Larry Rohter is an important figure in American journalism.He is one of the few jounalist for the underground press who made it into the mainstream.In 1970 I decided he was the best writer in America.Find me another journalist who has not made errors of fact or judgement in 40 years.
As it happens I lived in Rio at the same time as Rohter and find it significant that he would invest 15 years as the NYTimes correspondent in Rio.15 Years ago nobody knew or cared about Brazil.
"In 1991 Sting told me
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was really surprised with how much I learned from this book, because I was expecting a more "touching of the surface" treatment. But luckily, the New York Times reporter Larry Rohter has been living in Brazil for decades, and is even married to a Brazilian. This is important, because even though he shouldn't be considered as someone with knowledge as the natives, he is part of a big family and through all the relatives of his wife he becomes intrinsically connected to the true Brazil.

Fred Rose
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: global-issues
"Good book. Like having a beer with a smart person and them telling you all about their country, from culture to technology. Certainly Brazil has made as many structural changes to their economy as China and India, over the last two decades. It seems those changes are starting to have an impact now, and the push to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, only adds to that. Maybe it is the country of the future now more, the future may be here."
Ben Goldfarb
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Useful primer on Brazilian history and economy.
Alejandro Teruel
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book on Brazil by New York Times journalist Larry Rohter who lived in the country for fifteen years.

Professor Marshall C. Eakin has a fascinating Udemy free webcourse, titled Brazil for Beginners at Rohter´s book and Eakin´s book almost exactly complement each other. Eakin´s course is strong on Brazil´s history and especially on its 20th century political history, while Rohter´s book skimps on these matters and is stronger on the Brazi
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
A good primer on recent Brazilian history & contemporary culture. Divided into chapters on specific topics: politics, energy, race, etc.; the division helps you find what you want to know quickly, and yet also points out how the book is essentially unfocused and themeless, unless you count boilerplate like "Country X is a country of change" as a theme. So it's worthwhile for facts about Brazil but only a primer for something else more focused. ...more
Dec 25, 2010 rated it liked it
His sentences are a little too long and convoluted sometimes (making a few paragraphs require a second or third read through) but its a very completely (and still pretty current) guide to Brazil -- I can't speak on its accuracy, but it seems very well informed (and aside from the long sentences was an engaging read!)
Angela Sun
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Informative, detailed, and unbiased. Great read if you're about to visit Brazil or want to find out more about the Sleeping Giant. Comprehensive primer on economy, culture, and politics.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, history
Really great information. I feel like it have a greater knowledge of the country and its culture.
Dan Rosenbaum
Informative but not riveting

I read this book because I went there for work. Wouldn't read it otherwise. You can find most of this information online.
Syria Haddad
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was hoping that this book was going to be fun to read because I'm from Brazil and stuff, but it ended up being so boring.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A good introduction to a complex country. The chapters about culture are especially interesting! 9/10
Catherine Jett
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book for a summer reading program at the library. I would have never picked it up otherwise. I am glad I did. It is definitely not the type of subject matter I choose for interest as I am not into politics or economics at all, but I still enjoyed reading all the info here, and learning about topics I don't usually particularly enjoy. It is rewarding to read something totally out of what is normal for me. Had it been more of an interest of mine, I would have probably given it another ...more
James Gaffney
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book about a fascinating country undergoing transition at the moment. Written by Larry Rohter, an American Journalist with the New York Times who arrived in Brazil in the 1970s. He covers the period from his arrival to the present day with clarity, curiosidades and no shortage of wit about his adopted home.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. In the former, he writes about the history of the country, while also covering some of the corruption and inequaliti
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: south-america, brazil
Larry Rohter explains why Brazil is on the rise and more in this short survey of contemporary Brazil. Individual chapters are devoted to history, ethos, race, lifestyle, industry, energy, the Amazon/environment, foreign relations and the future. Readers' appreciation will undoubtedly vary depending on their interest in these areas or their opinions of what was included or left out. As a general reader I found in each one interesting and well presented.

The chapter on lifestyle covers the beaches,
Thomas Qais Osso-Faqiri
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to Brazil, a country known to the rest of us for its magnificent beaches, happy, smiley faces, Carnivals and its favelas. Larry Rother has lived in Brazil, among Brazilians for more than 40 years. The book benefits from his outsider look at the country as well as his insider experience. Each chapter deals with one major topic. It is a great read for anyone who is interested in Brazil as a country that is up and coming in the world stage as well as those who is thinki ...more
Marcos Pinto
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read and facts a newcomer should know, but…

This is a good book for those who know nothing about Brazil and Brazilians. However, this good material loses credibility when the author bases his opinions on prejudices and Anglo-Saxon moral. He fails miserably when he tries to analyze Brazilians sexuality and in some parts of the book he sounds really silly, although he’s been married to a Brazilian woman and living in Brazil for many years.

Distorted view apart, this is a good source of i
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 6/10


New York Times reporter married to a Brazilian Larry Rohter takes the reader on a lively trip through Brazil’s history, culture, and booming economy.

Rohter offers the reader an introduction to the country’s culture, society, and economy. Published in 2010, a lot of the information will be probably out-dated by now in 2018 but I still think it's a good source of getting the overall picture of the country.
GOOD: an insightful read about Brazil put in a readable and
An insightful, fascinating account of a country on the rise.

This book was recommended to me by my Brazilian sister-in-law during a family trip to Brazil. I was surprised by how thorough Larry Rohter was in his insights, but then again he is married to a Brazilian and did live in the country for 15 years.

I highly enjoyed his insights and would recommend this book to anyone that wants to know more about Brazil's history, economics, politics and way of life. I cannot speak for the accuracy of
Rachel G.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You will be hard-pressed to find a more all-encompassing book on modern Brazil than this. It's a fun read for anyone interested in Brazil, and an extremely informative read for those who don't know much about Brazil. It's amazing how Rohter manages to condense five hundred years of history into a few short chapters, and to also cover the most important components of modern Brazil in the rest, but he pulls it off. I especially enjoyed Rohter's anecdotes and his first hand experiences with the big ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I have been reading about the BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India and China who Goldman Sachs say will dominate the emerging new world economy. I read this book on Brazil as part of this. It did a reasonable job but didn't give me many deep insights, just covered the ground and left me thinking that Brazil has a long way to go before it is really on track and recent events there have confirmed my concerns. You cannot easily build an advanced industrial economy on such profound inequality as Brazil has. ...more
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Out of the three textbooks that I was required to read for my trip to Brazil, I definitely enjoyed this one the most. The writing is more personal and colloquial and the author isn't merely shooting facts and figures at you while you read. The topics discussed were really helpful and enlightening. I found myself noticing things while I'm here that I might not have picked up on if I hadn't read the book. I also found it fascinating to read about the differences between our cultures through the ey ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book. It has a unique focus, part history, part economic, part geography, part culture, and large part sociology. Larry Rohter's love for and concern for this amazing country cones through. His discussions of the history of the country puts in context much else of what he says. His chapter on Carnival is truly interesting and his chapter on the Amazon is fascinating. Although Brazil's economic growth has slowed in the past couple years, the strides it has made are mind-boggling and i ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: south-america
An insightful and well-done overview of present day Brazil with a historical 'setting of the stage' that was just the right length. I would've liked less political focus (the last third of the book) and more about the Arts and the Amazon though. It is already politically out-of-date too, having been published immediately before the 2010 presidential election - I'm kind of surprised he and his publisher didn't just wait an extra couple months.
Taylor McNeese
Very informative on contemporary Brazil, including its frontal issues on income inequality and environment, and provides a basic foundation on Brazil's colonial past. Rohter, however, puts a very American-centric view on the Brazilian economy and contemporary politics, condemning popularist and left-wing movements and economic structures in Brazil. All in all, interesting information but not at all objective and was definitely written for a malleable, pro-market American audience.
An insightful analysis of the progress Brazil has made .

Occasionally I thought politics was excessively analyzed and given too much priority. Worthwhile but does bog down sufficiently in some chapters. Written by an American journalist with an outsiders viewpoint who has lived in Brazil many years. Some topics are very well presented. I suggest patience in finishing this book.
Fabio C.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
A "crash course" on Brazilian history, with focus on contemporary events and the current state. It may not suite Brazilians either because the book describes facts that are already known or because the author’s point of view may be controversial. The author is definitely more optimistic than I am. However, I was positively surprised with the book.
Ron Crockett
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting perspective from a fellow American who is married to a Brazilian and has lived Rio de Janeiro for the better part of 40 years. It has opened my eyes as to why and how things are with some validation of my thoughts and experiences but it has given me more of vision of the beauty of some the culture I have yet to experience.
Tia Malkin-fontecchio
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: work-books
I was hoping to use this book in my History of Brazil course to introduce students to the culture of contemporary Brazil. The book summary states that the book goes beyond the stereotypes of Brazil. It didn't go much further. Very disappointing. Some of the vignettes are interesting and the book is well written.
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great read, demonstrating why Larry Rohter was the New York Times' Brazil correspondent for so long. Covers all aspects: political, economic, social, cultural, and more. A must-read for anyone professionally interested in Brazil and an excellent read for those personally or intellectually curious about it
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William Lawrence Rohter, Jr., known as Larry Rohter, is an American journalist who was a South American bureau chief for The New York Times from 1999 to 2007. Previously, he was Caribbean and Latin American correspondent of the Times from 1994 to 1999. He now writes about cultural topics

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“there is a consensus in Brazil that the profit motive does not always guarantee the best outcome for society as a whole and that some supervision is therefore necessary.” 0 likes
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