The title of Stefan Zweig's 1941 book Brazil: A Land of the Future captured an age-old Brazilian notion with roots in the colonial period. The country's vast land mass and bountiful resources, so the widely held belief goes, portend a propitious future for the continent-sized country. Cynics, however, like to quip that “Brazil is the land of the future, and it always will be.” This important volume on recent political and economic transformations in Brazil rejects that pessimistic prediction and forcefully insists that despite bumps in the road, the country is, indeed, on the way to sustainable development that will take full advantage of the nation's riches to offer greater prosperity for all.

Analysts, including the authors of this collection, have argued that the center-right government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995–2003), and that of his center-left successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva...

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