Despite its economic weight, Brazil has yet to emerge as a major player in global affairs. Since the 1960s, however, the country has been a major force on a happier front: popular culture, especially music. Dunn's attractively produced book takes the reader through the history of Brazil's cultural movement -- known as Tropicalia -- and focuses on a group of musicians from Bahia, including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Tom Ze. He examines how the tropicalists appropriated and parodied sectors of Brazil's culture to reveal the gap between the nation's idealized image of itself and the brutality of daily life. Perrone and Dunn, meanwhile, have collected essays from Brazilian
as well as U.S. scholars to look more broadly at Brazilian popular culture. They ask how Brazil's culture was affected by outside influences, with subjects ranging from Carmen Miranda to the recent impact of hip-hop, rock, and heavy metal. Born out of Brazil's own domestic vicissitudes, popular music is perhaps its most successful and widely known international intervention.