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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (84 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Reid Narrator: Gary Dikeos Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Latin America has often been condemned to failure. Neither poor enough to evoke Africa’s moral crusade nor as explosively booming as India and China, it has largely been overlooked by the West. Yet this vast continent, home to half a billion people, the world’s largest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percent of global oil, is busily transforming its political and economic landscape.

This book argues that, rather than failing the test, Latin America’s efforts to build fairer and more prosperous societies make it one of the world’s most vigorous laboratories for capitalist democracy. In many countries—including Brazil, Chile, and Mexico—democratic leaders are laying the foundations for faster economic growth and more inclusive politics, as well as tackling deep-rooted problems of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. They face a new challenge from Hugo Chávez’s oil-fuelled populism, and much is at stake. Failure will increase the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States and Europe, jeopardize stability in a region rich in oil and other strategic commodities, and threaten some of the world’s most majestic natural environments.

Drawing on Michael Reid’s many years of reporting from inside Latin America’s cities, presidential palaces, and shantytowns, this book provides a vivid, immediate, and informed account of a dynamic continent and its struggle to compete in a globalized world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliantly researched and annotated work of scholarship.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] comprehensive and erudite assessment of the region…While the social and economic face of Latin Americais becoming more attractive, political life remains ugly and, in some countries, is getting even uglier.”

    Washington Post

  • “Reid’s book offers something valuable to both specialists and the general reading public…He writes of Latin Americawith great empathy, intelligence, and insight.”

    Hispanic American Historical Review

  • “Reid’s account is essential reading for its clear portrayal of what can be called a post-‘Washingtonconsensus’ view of Latin America.”

    Journal of American History

  • “No one who seriously aspires to discuss Latin American politics, economics, and culture should go without reading Forgotten Continent.”

    National Interest

  • “[An] intelligent and thoughtful overview…Reid offers a serious and well-written synthesis of Latin America’s political economy that is meticulously supported by a wealth of data and the work of the best scholars studying the region.”


  • “Narrator Gary Dikeos has a deep voice that lends an authoritative tone to this well researched book. Although Latin America has 500 million people and is the United States’ closest southern neighbor, our attitudes and policies toward this region usually take a backseat to Europe and Asia. The author’s argument is that Latin America is an awakening giant that could overtake the U.S. in many economic areas by the middle of the century. Dikeos narrates slowly and assuredly and has crystal-clear diction in both English and Spanish. His success in transforming the author’s intent into a vivid audio performance makes what could have been just another lament about Latin America into a compelling story.”


  • AudioFile Best Book of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Olive | 5/10/2013

    " good book, thought it mostly went over my head. i will definitely keep it on hand to read in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fred | 12/5/2012

    " Very good book. I have it on my kindle but would like the hard cover for reference in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tony | 5/25/2012

    " An excellent overview of South America from a politcal and economical standpoint. Little bit of a heavy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Natasha | 4/27/2012

    " dramatic title for a dramatic subject. Reid manages to cover a lot of good material about trends in latin american political and economic history without getting too bogged down with the details. "

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About the Author

Michael Reid is editor of the Americas section of the Economist. Previously based in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, he has traveled throughout Latin America and reported for the BBC, the Guardian, and the Economist since 1982.