What a 19th Century Default Says About Brazil's Crisis Today

By Asher Levine

A politically connected elite tapping government institutions for favorable treatment. Sound familiar?

“A tree born crooked will never straighten itself out.”

The aphorism is a favorite among Brazilians seeking to explain their nation’s frustrating lack of steady and inclusive socioeconomic progress. In Inglorious Revolution (Yale University Press), William Summerhill digs down to expose some of the roots.

This meticulously researched academic work sets out to explain why Brazil’s broader financial system failed to thrive despite the nation’s success in building credibility as a trustworthy...

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