The book by Randall is part of a four-volume work on the economic histories of Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru from the European conquest to the eve of World War I. Although the author makes occasional comparative references to the countries treated in other volumes, each stands independently of the others, and each is printed separately by University Microfilms in their “on demand” publishing program.

For a series attempting to cover so much material, each volume, including the one under review, contains a remarkable amount of historical detail. Due to the limitations of the source material available in 1969, when the reading for this project was apparently completed, the author emphasizes official fiscal, monetary, and exchange policies of colony, empire, and early republic, together with a treatment of the economic cycles into which the history of Brazil is traditionally divided. The results of these policies and cyclical trends are evaluated from an orthodox developmentalist orientation. An extensive statistical appendix brings together several series of useful data from scattered sources.

For readers lacking the familiarity with Brazilian history which Celso Furtado’s Economic Growth of Brazil assumes, this book should be quite useful. On the other hand, economics and politics are blended more comprehensively in E. Bradford Burns’ A History of Brazil. For specialists in the topic, Randall’s work will be disappointing. It relies exclusively on dated secondary material, makes no use of the wealth of studies resulting from the research boom both in the United States and Brazil in the past decade, and provides no new data or interpretation.

The volume by Lorenzo-Fernández, an economist with long experience in Brazilian government and United Nations agencies, is a welcome contribution to the literature. The author’s lack of academic affiliation has not hindered his intellectual development, for this is a sophisticated piece of scholarship. Nor is he an apologist for the institutions he has been most closely involved with. Less well-known in the United States than members of the neo-Marxian CEBRAP school or the neo-classical IPEA group, Lorenzo-Fernández skillfully manages the difficult task of a holistic and dispassionate treatment, emphasizing the national period. Rather than clinging to the middle ground, the author approaches the stages of Brazilian economic history with a firm grasp of the empirical evidence and an awareness of the interpretive conclusions resulting from a variety of current theoretical orientations.

The book is divided into an introductory essay comparing Brazil to Spanish America and the United States, and sections on dependent growth (1808-1914), efforts toward autonomous control of the process (1914-1964), transition to a new model (1964-1973), and an interpretive essay on the Brazilian model. A unifying theme is the recurring focus on “transformations in the decision-making process.”

The ideological independence of the book is unfortunately compromised by a sixteen-page preface by Roberto Campos, the conservative ex-finance minister who was one of the architects of post-1964 economic policies. Campos exploits the opportunity by taking a gratuitous swipe at the dependency approach, a lead which Lorenzo-Fernández’ text does not follow.

An unfortunate irony in reviewing these two books is that Lorenzo-Fernández’ work, more useful than Randall’s as an interpretive survey of Brazilian economic history, is not available to the wider audience of non-Portuguese readers it deserves.