Author: Alex Cuadros
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
For readers of Michael Lewis comes an engrossing tale of a country’s spectacular rise and fall, intertwined with the story of Brazil’s wealthiest citizen, Eike Batista—a universal story of hubris and tragedy that uncovers the deeper meaning of this era of billionaires. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES When Bloomberg News invited the young American journalist Alex Cuadros to report on Brazil’s emerging class of billionaires at the height of the historic Brazilian boom, he was poised to cover two of the biggest business stories of our time: how the giants of the developing world were triumphantly taking their place at the center of global capitalism, and how wealth inequality was changing societies everywhere. The billionaires of Brazil and their massive fortunes resided at the very top of their country’s economic pyramid, and whether they quietly accumulated exceptional power or extravagantly displayed their decadence, they formed a potent microcosm of the world’s richest .001 percent. Eike Batista, a flamboyant and charismatic evangelist for the country’s new gospel of wealth, epitomized much of this rarefied sphere: In 2012, Batista ranked as the eighth-richest person in the world, was famous for his marriage to a beauty queen, and was a fixture in the Brazilian press. His constantly repeated ambition was to become the world’s richest man and to bring Brazil along with him to the top. But by 2015, Batista was bankrupt, his son Thor had been indicted for manslaughter, and Brazil—its president facing impeachment, its provinces combating an epidemic, and its business and political class torn apart by scandal—had become a cautionary tale of a country run aground by its elites. Over the four years Cuadros was on the billionaire beat, he reported on media moguls and televangelists, energy barons and shadowy figures from the years of military dictatorship, soy barons who lived on the outskirts of the Amazon, and new-economy billionaires spinning money from speculation. He learned just how deeply they all reached into Brazilian life. They held sway over the economy, government, media, and stewardship of the environment; they determined the spiritual fates and populated the imaginations of their countrymen. Cuadros’s zealous reporting takes us from penthouses to courtrooms, from favelas to extravagant art fairs, from scenes of unimaginable wealth to desperate, massive street protests. Within a business narrative that deftly explains and dramatizes the volatility of the global economy, Cuadros offers us literary journalism with a grand sweep. Praise for Brazillionaires “A wild, richly reported tale about Brazil’s recent economic rise and fall, and some of the biggest, most colorful characters in business in Brazil who now have a global reach. . . . Cuadros’s story really takes off when he focuses on Eike Batista, an over-the-top one-time billionaire who became the country’s corporate mascot, only to go bankrupt in a dramatic unraveling.”—Andrew Ross Sorkin, the New York Times “In this excellent book [Cuadros] has managed to use billionaires to illuminate the lives of both rich and poor Brazilians, and all those in between.”—The Economist “Brazillionaires [is] journalist Alex Cuadros’s compelling tale of Brazil’s superrich, which deftly weaves lurid soap opera with high finance and outrageous political skullduggery. . . . If Brazil sometimes comes across as a circus in this compelling, thoroughly researched account, it is because it can be just that.”—The Wall Street Journal
Author: Alex Cuadros
When Bloomberg News invited the young American journalist Alex Cuadros to report on Brazil's emerging class of billionaires at the height of the historic Brazilian boom, he was poised to cover two of the biggest business stories of our time: how the giants of the developing world were taking their place at the center of global capitalism, and how wealth inequality was changing societies everywhere. The billionaires of Brazil and their massive fortunes resided at the very top of their country's economic pyramid, and whether they quietly accumulated exceptional power or extravagantly displayed their decadence, they formed a potent microcosm of the world's richest .001 percent. They held sway over the economy, government, media, and stewardship of the environment; they determined the spiritual fates and populated the imaginations of their countrymen. In 2012, Eike Batista ranked as the eighth-richest person in the world, was famous for his marriage to a beauty queen, and was a fixture in the Brazilian press. But by 2015, Batista was bankrupt, his son Thor had been indicted for manslaughter, and Brazil--its president facing impeachment, its provinces combating an epidemic, and its business and political class torn apart by scandal--had become a cautionary tale of a country run aground by its elites. Over four years, Cuadros reported on media moguls and televangelists, energy barons and shadowy figures from the years of military dictatorship, soy barons who lived on the outskirts of the Amazon, and new-economy billionaires spinning money from speculation. His zealous reporting takes us from penthouses to courtrooms, from favelas to art fairs, from scenes of unimaginable wealth to desperate, massive street protests. Within a business narrative that deftly dramatizes the volatility of the global economy, Cuadros offers us literary journalism with a grand sweep.--Adapted from dust jacket.
Author: Alex Cuadros
Longlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award Wealth and power on the trail of the super-richIn 2012, Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista was the eighth richest man in the world, his $30bn fortune built on Brazil's incredible natural resources. By the middle of 2013 he had lost it all, engulfed in scandal.Brazillionaires is a fast-paced account of Batista's rise and fall: a story of helicopter flights, beach-front penthouses and high-speed car crashes. Along the way, it tells the parallel story of Brazil itself, a country caught in the cycle of boom and bust, renewed hope and dashed promise; a country where the hyper-rich are at the heart of the economy - and where their wealth can buy immense political power.Stefan Zweig said in 1941 that Brazil was the country of the future; Brazilians joke that it always will be. Today, rampant corruption and endemic inequality threaten to derail the new Brazilian Dream. The brazillionaires are the key to understanding that dream; through them Brazillionaires tells the story of their country's past, present and future.
Brazil on the Rise
Author: Larry Rohter
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 and vibrant people defy definition. He charts Brazil's amazing jump from a debtor nation to one of the world's fastest growing economies, unravels the myth of Brazil's sexually charged culture, and portrays in vivid color the underbelly of impoverished favelas. With Brazil leading the charge of the Latin American decade, this critically acclaimed history is the authoritative guide to understanding its meteoric rise.
A Brief History of Brazil
Author: Teresa A. Meade
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
Only slightly smaller in size than the United States
Sharing This Walk
Author: Karina Biondi
Publisher: UNC Press Books
The Primeiro Comando do Capital (PCC) is a Sao Paulo prison gang that since the 1990s has expanded into the most powerful criminal network in Brazil. Karina Biondi's rich ethnography of the PCC is uniquely informed by her insider-outsider status. Prior to his acquittal, Biondi's husband was incarcerated in a PCC-dominated prison for several years. During the period of Biondi's intense and intimate visits with her husband and her extensive fieldwork in prisons and on the streets of Sao Paulo, the PCC effectively controlled more than 90 percent of Sao Paulo's 147 prison facilities. Available for the first time in English, Biondi's riveting portrait of the PCC illuminates how the organization operates inside and outside of prison, creatively elaborating on a decentered, non-hierarchical, and far-reaching command system. This system challenges both the police forces against which the PCC has declared war and the methods and analytic concepts traditionally employed by social scientists concerned with crime, incarceration, and policing. Biondi posits that the PCC embodies a "politics of transcendence," a group identity that is braided together with, but also autonomous from, its decentralized parts. Biondi also situates the PCC in relation to redemocratization and rampant socioeconomic inequality in Brazil, as well as to counter-state movements, crime, and punishment in the Americas.
Author: Misha Glenny
The astonishing story of an ordinary man forced to make a decision that would turn his world upside down How did Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, a hardworking young father, become the king of Rocinha, the largest slum in Rio; the head of a drug cartel; and perhaps Brazil’s most wanted criminal, known to all as “Nem”? Nemesis is the riveting account of his ruthless ascent in Rio’s terrifying underworld, his sway over its anarchic outlaw culture, and his accidental fall. Nem tried to bring welfare and justice to a playground of gang culture and destitution, but he quickly found himself embroiled in a world of gold hunters and evangelical pastors, bent police officers and rich-kid addicts, quixotic politicians and drug lords with math degrees. Spanning rainforests and high-security prisons, filthy slums and glittering shopping malls, Nemesis chronicles Brazil’s journey into the global spotlight—and the battle for the beautiful but damned city of Rio as it struggles to break free from a tangled web of corruption, violence, drugs and poverty. Nem is held at the center of it all, locked in a fight for his country’s future. From the Hardcover edition.
Rio de Janeiro
Author: Luiz Eduardo Soares
Publisher: Penguin UK
A book as rich and sprawling as the seductive metropolis it evokes, Rio de Janeiro builds a kaleidoscopic portrait of this city of extremes, and its history of conflict and corruption. Award-winning novelist, ex-government minister and sociologist, Luiz Eduardo Soares tells the story of Rio through the everyday lives of its people: gangsters and police, activists, politicians and struggling migrant workers, each with their own version of the city. Taking us on a journey into Rio's intricate world of favelas, beaches and corridors of power, Soares reveals one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in all its seething, agonistic beauty.
Author: Michael Reid
Publisher: Yale University Press
Examines the South American country that is destined to be one of the world's premier economic powers by the year 2030, and considers some of the abundant problems the nation faces.
Author: Bo Burlingham
How maverick companies have passed up the growth treadmill — and focused on greatness instead. It’s an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do, creating a great place to work, providing great customer service, making great contributions to their communities, and finding great ways to lead their lives. In Small Giants, veteran journalist Bo Burlingham takes us deep inside fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to march to their own drummer. They include Anchor Brewing, the original microbrewer; CitiStorage Inc., the premier independent records-storage business; Clif Bar & Co., maker of organic energy bars and other nutrition foods; Righteous Babe Records, the record company founded by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco; Union Square Hospitality Group, the company of restaurateur Danny Meyer; and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, including the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor. Burlingham shows how the leaders of these small giants recognized the full range of choices they had about the type of company they could create. And he shows how we can all benefit by questioning the usual definitions of business success. In his new afterward, Burlingham reflects on the similarities and learning lessons from the small giants he covers in the book. From the Hardcover edition.
The Panama Papers
Author: Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Late one evening, investigative journalist Bastian Obermayer receives an anonymous message offering him access to secret data. Through encrypted channels, he then receives documents revealing how the president of Argentina has sequestered millions of dollars of state money for private use. This is just the beginning. Obermayer and fellow Süddeutsche journalist Frederik Obermaier find themselves immersed in the secret world where complex networks of letterbox companies help the super-rich to hide their money. Faced with the contents of the largest data leak in history, they activate an international network of journalists to follow every possible line of inquiry. Operating in the strictest secrecy for over a year, they uncover cases involving European prime ministers and international dictators, emirs and kings, celebrities and aristocrats. The real-life thriller behind the story of the century, The Panama Papers is an intense, unputdownable account that proves, once and for all, that there exists a small elite living by a different set of rules and blows their secret world wide open.
Author: David R. Mares, Harold A. Trinkunas
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Brazil’s soft power path to major power status. The largest country in South America by land mass and population, Brazil has been marked since its independence by a belief that it has the potential to play a major role on the global stage. Set apart from the rest of the hemisphere by culture, language, and history, Brazil has also been viewed by its neighbors as a potential great power and, at times, a threat. But even though domestic aspirations and foreign perceptions have held out the prospect for Brazil becoming a major power, the country has lacked the capabilities—particularly on the military and economic dimensions—to pursue a traditional path to greatness. Aspirational Power examines Brazil as an emerging power. It explains Brazil’s present emphasis on using soft power through a historical analysis of Brazil’s three past attempts to achieve major power status. Though these efforts have fallen short, this book suggests that Brazil will continue to try to emerge, but that it will only succeed when its domestic institutions provide a solid and attractive foundation for the deployment of its soft power abroad. Aspirational Power concludes with concrete recommendations for how Brazil might improve its strategy, and why the great powers, including the United States, should respond positively to Brazil’s emergence.
A dramatic, true story of men and women trapped in the grip of war, Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead is modern crisis reporting at its best. For six weeks in the Spring of 2015, award-winning journalist Nick Turse traveled on foot as well as by car, SUV, and helicopter around war-torn South Sudan talking to military officers and child soldiers, United Nations officials and humanitarian workers, civil servants, civil society activists, and internally displaced persons–people whose lives had been blown apart by a ceaseless conflict there. In fast-paced and dramatic fashion, Turse reveals the harsh reality of modern warfare in the developing world and the ways people manage to survive the unimaginable. Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead isn’t about combat, it’s about the human condition, about ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, about death, life, and the crimes of war in the newest nation on earth.
From prizewinning journalist and Brazilian native Juliana Barbassa comes a deeply reported and beautifully written account of the seductive and chaotic city of Rio de Janeiro as it struggles with poverty and corruption on the brink of the 2016 Olympic Games. Juliana Barbassa moved a great deal throughout her life, but Rio was always home. After twenty-one years abroad, she returned to find her native city—once ravaged by inflation, drug wars, corrupt leaders, and dying neighborhoods—undergoing a major change. Rio has always aspired to the pantheon of global capitals, and under the spotlight of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games it seems that its moment has come. But in order to prepare itself for the world stage, Rio must vanquish the entrenched problems that Barbassa recalls from her childhood. Turning this beautiful but deeply flawed place into a pristine showcase of the best that Brazil has to offer in just a few years is a tall order—and with the whole world watching, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Library Journal called Dancing with the Devil in the City of God “akin to Charlie LeDuff’s Detroit”—a book that “combines history and personal interviews in an informative and engaging work.” This kaleidoscopic portrait of Rio introduces the reader to the people who make up this city of extremes, revealing their aspirations and their grit, their violence, their hungers, and their splendor, and shedding light on the future of this city they are building together. Dancing with the Devil in the City of God is an insider perspective from a native daughter and “a fascinating look at the people who live in and aspire to change one of the world’s most impressive cities” (Booklist, starred review).