Brazil, occupying nearly 50 percent of the South American continent, has the largest economy and is a major political power in Latin America. In this updated and expanded fifth edition of his text, Roett provides a thorough introduction to the dynamics shaping Brazilian politics, economics, and society, the difficult transition from military to civilian government in the 1980s, and the social issues facing Brazilian leaders as the country enters the 21st century. As Roett makes clear, despite years of economic growth and industrialization, by the late 1990s, Brazil still faces continued and growing challenges to its social cohesiveness and stability. Without greater attention to the basic needs of the Brazilian poor, the fabric of democracy in the New Republic faces formidable challenges. A thorough and engaging resource for all students and scholars of contemporary Latin America and, more specifically, Brazil.