A methodical survey of a country generally considered to be a Third World leader. Brazil is a study in variety: huge urban centers, vast tracts of wilderness; great wealth beside extreme poverty; unparalleled natural resources along with a crippling foreign debt; near-extermination of its Native Americans but a tradition of (mostly) peaceful political change. In considering current and future exploitation of the Amazon Basin, Bender is careful to be evenhanded; otherwise, she seldom pauses for analysis, leaving readers with little more than her barrage of facts and statistics. After a quick slide through Brazilian art and culture, she concludes with a rather dark look at Brazil's future. A bit dry for pleasure reading, but good for reports. Adequate photos, some in color; time-lines; glossary; index. No bibliography.