Brazil and the United States
Convergence and Divergence

Joseph Smith

The final volume in The United States and the Americas series

Reviews

"Smith has written a lucid overview of Brazilian-American relations that will be useful to scholars, policy makers, and casual readers for years to come."
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"Joseph Smith's treatment of Brazil—United States relations is the best synthesis of the subject. Smith's clear organization and presentation make this volume a required introduction for students and any other interested in the subject."
—Sonny B. Davis, Hispanic American Historical Review


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Description

Although Brazil and the United States have long regarded each other sympathetically, relations between the two countries have been adversely affected by geographical distance, language barriers, and cultural indifference. In this comprehensive overview, Joseph Smith examines the history of Brazil-U.S. relations from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

With the exception of commerce, notably the coffee trade, there was relatively little contact between the countries during the nineteenth century. A convergence of national interests took place during the first decade of the twentieth century and was exemplified in Brazil’s strategy of “approximating” its foreign policy to that pursued by the United States. In return, Brazil expected economic gains and diplomatic support for its ambition to be the leading power in South America. But U.S. leaders were cautious and self-serving. Brazil was treated as a special ally, according to Smith, but only at times of major crisis such as the two world wars.

As the twentieth century progressed, friction developed over programs of U.S. financial assistance and efforts to deal with the threat of communism. Recently there have been disagreements over Brazil’s determination to take its rightful place as a global economic player and regional leader. Nonetheless history reveals that these two giant nations of the Western Hemisphere share national interests that they realize are best served by maintaining a friendly, cooperative relationship.

Series/imprint:
United States and the Americas

Page count: 228 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



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978-0-8203-2769-3
11/15/2010

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Joseph Smith is a reader in American diplomatic history in the department of history at the University of Exeter. He is the editor of History, the journal of the Historical Association of Great Britain, and the author of seven books, most recently Historical Dictionary of United States-Latin American Relations and The United States and Latin America: A History of American Diplomacy, 1776–2000.