Hemispheric Giants: The Misunderstood History of U.S.-Brazilian Relations

In This Review

Hemispheric Giants: The Misunderstood History of U.S.-Brazilian Relations
By Britta Crandall
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2011
230 pp. $65.00

Much of what is written on U.S.-Latin American relations relies on media reports or recycles other academic works. Crandall, in contrast, took the time to interview U.S. policymakers and career diplomats. Her discovery: the mainstream complaint that the United States has forever neglected Brazil is way off the mark. In fact, U.S. officials -- at both the senior and the middle levels of the bureaucracy -- have recognized Brazil's relative weight and have repeatedly sought to engage its Foreign Ministry. But hung up on fears of being overwhelmed by U.S. power, or driven by their own dreams of Brazilian hegemony over South America, Brazilian diplomats have often turned their backs on U.S. advances. In this well-researched and balanced treatment, Crandall foresees the potential for bilateral cooperation on emerging global issues, ranging from financial stability to energy supplies, on which U.S. and Brazilian interests may converge. But will Brazil sufficiently redefine its strategic posture to pick up these gains?

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