Paul Boeker's volume provides an optimistic view that a "turnaround" has occurred in Latin America and can be sustained. Focusing on questions of privatization, foreign investment and economic growth, he quotes approvingly several times in his introductory chapter the remarks of the impeached president of Brazil, Fernando Collor de Mello, including his comments in December 1989 that "the state is a giant. It is inefficient and it is corrupt." As we know now, President Collor knew only too well the truth of which he spoke. But until Brazil puts its house in order, the U.S. Congress passes nafta, the Argentine reforms are sustained into the next administration, and the United States avoids the temptations of protectionism, it is still too early to be confident that the brave new world Boeker and his colleagues see is truly here.
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