Rio de Janeiro: Extreme City
by Luiz Eduardo Soares, published by Penguin, (2016), 9781846148026
This book is an excellent introduction to Rio’s opportunities and challenges. The author's work is particularly easy to read and so the book is a very accessible resource for teachers (and students) to read prior to teaching the topic. It consists of nine accounts of life in the city from a range of angles, including those involved in the underbelly of the city through crime, to those in the corridors of power. The author writes just before the 2016 Olympic Games, when budgets for healthcare, education and transport are shrinking to make way for the games, and this provides the narrative for opportunities and challenges in the city. He writes from his experience of the military dictatorship in the 1960s, and his life as an academic, activist and politician, and examines the lives of the winners and losers in the city. For students familiar with Rio through sporting events and tourism, this offers them a new perspective on the real life of the city’s residents.