This book is perhaps the best source presently available for data and analysis of the Brazilian economy between 1860 and 1890. The book focuses primarily on monetary conditions and the balance of payments, but it also includes useful materials on tariffs, fiscal policy, national industries, and foreign capital.

Wileman was concerned to refute contemporaneous (and strikingly contemporary!) fallacies which afflicted the interpretation of Brazil’s economy and economic policy. To do so, he mustered a wealth of statistical materials and analytical insights. The discussion benefits from his grounding in economic theory and his attention to empirical verification. Wileman emerges from this book as an extremely impressive individual.

The book will be useful to historians and economists attempting to understand the economy of nineteenth-century Brazil. Apart from the statistics and analytics, it provides historical perspective on contemporary reality, and makes clear how much the Brazilian present is the child of the past.