Modern Brazil
by Javier A. Galván
August 2020, 405pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6031-7
$100, 84€, A143
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6032-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Not only is Brazil the largest country in South America, but it is the only country in all of the Americas where Portuguese is the official language.

This book is a crucial reference source for high school and undergraduate college students interested in contemporary Brazil. While it provides a general historical and cultural background, it also focuses on issues affecting modern Brazil.

In recent years, Brazil has come onto the world stage as an economic powerhouse, a leader in Latin America. This latest addition to the Understanding Modern Nations series focuses on Brazil’s culture, history, and society.

This volume provides readers with a wide understanding of Brazil’s historical past, the foundation for its cultural traditions, and an understanding of its social structure. In addition, it provides a look into contemporary society by highlighting both national accomplishments and challenges Brazilians face in the twenty-first century.

Specific chapters cover geography; history; government and politics; economy; religion; social classes and ethnicity; gender, marriage and sexuality; education; language; etiquette; literature and drama; arts and architecture; music and dance; food; leisure and sports; and media, cinema, and popular culture. Entries within each chapter look at topics such as cultural icons, economic inequalities, race and ethnicity, soccer, politics, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. Ideal for high school and undergraduate students, this volume paints a panoramic overview of one of the most powerful countries in the Americas.


  • The volume covers a wide range of topics, including social issues, cultural traditions, and controversial contemporary issues, making it a comprehensive and valuable thematic encyclopedia
  • "Day in the Life" features portray the specific daily activities of various people in Brazil, from teenagers to working adults in different fields, thereby providing readers insight into daily life in the country
  • Key terms related to the reading are defined in a glossary appendix
  • A chart of national holidays provides at-a-glance information about Brazil's important religious and secular holidays
  • Photos illuminate the text, illustrating key topics
  • Sidebars provide fun facts and anecdotal information that help to engage readers
Javier A. Galván, PhD, is professor of history and Spanish at Santa Ana College. He published Culture and Customs of Puerto Rico (2009), Culture and Customs of Bolivia (2011), and Latin American Dictators of the 20th Century (2012).

Understanding Modern Nations

The Understanding Modern Nations series profiles individual nations that are of interest to high school students and undergraduates, focusing on countries that are often studied in school as well as countries that have made major headlines in recent years.

With coverage of topics such as geography, history, politics and government, economy, society, culture, social media, pop culture, and personal accounts of daily life, these volumes serve as ideal resources for students of geography, social studies, anthropology, political science, and more. Additional topics examine religion, social classes and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, education, language, etiquette, literature and drama, art and architecture, music and dance, food, and leisure and sport.

General overviews of each topic provide students with a basic foundation on the subject, and entries pertaining to the topic—such as biographies of significant people in the field, iconic events, and key ideas—follow each overview. Sidebars and photos, facts and figures that are integral to better understanding the countries, a glossary of key terms, and a holidays chart round out the coverage in each of these accessible, engaging volumes.
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