Michael Reid – Forgotten Continent

Latin America has often been condemned to failure. Neither poor enough to evoke Africas moral crusade nor as explosively booming as India and China, it has largely been overlooked by the West. Yet this vast continent, home to half a billion people, the worlds largest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percent of global oil, is busily transforming its political and economic landscape.

This book argues that rather than failing the test, Latin Americas efforts to build fairer and more prosperous societies make it one of the worlds most vigorous laboratories for capitalist democracy. In many countriesincluding Brazil, Chile, and Mexicodemocratic leaders are laying the foundations for faster economic growth and more inclusive politics, as well as tackling deep-rooted problems of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. They face a new challenge from Hugo Chvezs oil-fuelled populism, and much is at stake. Failure will increase the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States and Europe, jeopardize stability in a region rich in oil and other strategic commodities, and threaten some of the worlds most majestic natural environments.

Drawing on Michael Reids many years of reporting from inside Latin Americas cities, presidential palaces, and shantytowns, this book provides a vivid, immediate, and informed account of a dynamic continent and its struggle to compete in a globalized world.

Author: Michael Reid
Narrator: Gary Dikeos
Duration: 18 hours 31 minutes
Released: 11 May 2005
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Language: English

User Review:

breathing woolly

When I picked this up, I was expecting a survey of recent Latin American history. But the fact is the author focuses mostly on ideologies and economic policy and reveals his person party leanings dozens of times. The topics meander from place to place and time to time and is full of generalizations about the entire region. It is noteworthy that in a book whose introduction informs the read there is a lot more going down than the reader (who is presumably American) reads in the news, then the author proceeds to give an account that exclusively follows stories that could be learned through newspaper archives.

And yes, the substantive history is more than just stilted, it never goes in depth, has many gaps, and in several cases is simply factually inaccurate.

I rarely advise to throw out a book completely, but a casual reader of history would find this slow, boring, and would be mislead. While a pro would find little substantive information to take away from it.