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Between 2010 and 2025, most of the countries of Latin America will commemorate two centuries of independence, and Latin Americans have much to celebrate at this milestone. Most countries have enjoyed periods of sustained growth, while inequality is showing modest declines and the middle class is expanding. Dictatorships have been left behind, and all major political actors seem to have accepted the democratic process and the rule of law. Latin Americans have entered the digital world, routinely using the Internet and social media. These new realities in Latin America call for a new introduction to its history and culture, which Latin America at 200 amply provides. Taking a reader-friendly approach that focuses on the big picture and uses concrete examples, Phillip Berryman highlights what Latin Americans are doing to overcome extreme poverty and underdevelopment. He starts with issues facing cities, then considers agriculture and farming, business, the environment, inequality and class, race and ethnicity, gender, and religion. His survey of Latin American history leads into current issues in economics, politics and governance, and globalization. Berryman also acknowledges the ongoing challenges facing Latin Americans, especially crime and corruption, and the efforts being made to combat them. Based on decades of experience, research, and travel, as well as recent studies from the World Bank and other agencies, Latin America at 200 will be essential both as a classroom text and as an introduction for general readers.
The large and rapidly expanding body ofliterature related to nitrogen cycling in both managed and native terrestrial ecosystems reflects the importance accorded to the behaviour of this vital and often limiting nutrient. Research at the organism, ecosystem and landscape levels commonly addresses questions concerning nitrogen acquisition, internal cycling and retention. Goals for this research include increased agricultural productivity and a better understanding of human impact on local, regional and global nitrogen cycles. Nitrogen cycle research in tropical regions has a long and distinguished history. Research on different aspects of nitrogen cycling in ecosystems of the tropics has been carried out in many regions. In relatively few instances has there, however, been a focus on the biogeochemical cycles at the ecosystem level. The meeting resulting in this volume was an attempt to bring together existing information on nitrogen cycling in ecosystems of Latin America and the Caribbean and discuss this in an ecosystem context.
In this first comprehensive work in English to describe the building of Latin America's capital cities in the post-colonial period, Arturo Almandoz and his contributors demonstrate how Europe and France in particular shaped their culture,
South America is a unique place where a number of past climate archives are ava- able from tropical to high latitude regions. It thus offers a unique opportunity to explore past climate variability along a latitudinal transect from the Equator to Polar regions and to study climate teleconnections. Most climate records from tropical and subtropical South America for the past 20,000 years have been interpreted as local responses to shift in the mean position and intensity of the InterTropical Conv- gence Zone due to tropical and extratropical forcings or to changes in the South American Summer Monsoon. Further South, the role of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds on global climate has been highly investigated with both paleodata and coupled climate models. However the regional response over South America during the last 20,000 years is much more variable from place to place than pre- ously thought. The factors that govern the spatial patterns of variability on millennial scale resolution are still to be understood. The question of past natural rates and ranges of climate conditions over South America is therefore of special relevance in this context since today millions of people live under climates where any changes in monsoon rainfall can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Since the early 1980s, Latin American countries have been innovative in a range of policy and cultural experiences, including health care, voting, pensions, and multiculturalism. And yet, their policy innovations are rarely found in textbooks. This book addresses that gap, providing a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of both the history of "looking down" at Latin America and the political, economic, and cultural "lessons" (including successes, failures, and unintended consequences) that should inform important policy discussions around the world.

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