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The Colonization of the Amazon

The Colonization of the Amazon

Series: Translations from Latin America Series

Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies<br>University of Texas at Austin
January 1992
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
389 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 b&w illus., 62 tables, 19 maps, 23 figures, 6 graphs |

Deforestation in the Amazon, one of today's top environmental concerns, began during a period of rapid colonization in the 1970s. Throughout that decade, Anna Luiza Ozorio de Almeida, a Stanford-trained economist, conducted a complex and massive economic study of what was going on in the Amazon, who was investing what, what was gained, and what it cost in all its aspects. The Colonization of the Amazon, the resulting work, brings together information on the physical, demographic, institutional, and economic dimensions of directed settlement in the Amazon Basin and raises significant questions about the gains and losses of the settlers, the reasons for these outcomes, and the economic rationale behind the devastation of the rainforest.

Particularly illuminating is Almeida's exploration of the role of the frontier in Brazil and her distinction between types of migrants and migrations. She concludes that the political costs avoided by not undertaking agrarian reform are being paid by devastating the Amazon, with the conflict between distribution and conservation steadily worsening. Today, it can no longer be circumvented.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Part 1: The Dimensions of the Frontier
    • 1. The Decade of Colonization
    • 2. Rural Frontier and Urban Frontier
    • 3. Occupation and Availability of Land in the Amazon
    • 4. Agricultural Suitability of Amazon Soils
    • 5. The Closing Frontier
  • Part 2: The Frontier and the State
    • 6. The Role of the Brazilian State on the Amazon Frontier
    • 7. Spatial Homogenization of the Amazon
    • 8. Directed Settlement
    • 9. Complementing Institutions
    • 10. The Cost of Directed Colonization
  • Part 3: The Frontier and the Market
    • 11. The Expansion of the Market
    • 12. The Economic Dynamic of Colonization
    • 13. The Appropriation of Agricultural Surplus
    • 14. Colonists’ Market Response
    • 15. Frontier Merchants
  • Part 4: The Colonists
    • 16. The Appropriation of Income in Directed Colonization
    • 17. Costs and Benefits
    • 18. Market Segmentation
    • 19. Agricultural Strategies
    • 20. Differentiation on the Frontier
    • 21. Itinerancy and Adaptation to the Amazon
    • 22. Colonization and Agrarian Reform: The Current Debate
    • 23. Postscript: The Many Dimensions of the Amazon Frontier
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index