Widely considered to be the best available introduction in English to the economies, politics, demography, social structures, environment and cultures of Latin America. This new edition is thoroughly updated and covers recent developments in Latin America such as the growing costs of export agriculture, the rise of Brazilian manufacturing, connections between the war on drugs and the war on terror, the social costs of neoliberalism, the Argentinian default, the search for new economic models in Venezuela and elsewhere, the decline in direct U.S. military intervention in the region, growing urbanization, urban poverty and casual employment, outmigration and the importance of family remittances from abroad, rampant environmental destruction, the struggles of indigenous movements, and more.
Throughout the 1990s Latin America was seen as the poster child of neoliberalism, as governments opened their economies to imports, slashed social spending, and gave priority to attracting foreign investment. In the process, runaway inflation was held in check and currencies stabilized. But this was done at huge environmental and human cost. Global corporations and small elite in Latin America grew rich, but the bulk of the population suffered.