Mexican-born journalist Alma Guillermoprieto has reported widely on the political situation in Latin America. Her first book, however, was this fascinating 1990 exploration of the world of samba among the poorest neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Guillermoprieto, who as a teenager studied and performed modern dance in New York City, took residence in the village of Manguiera for a year, joining its famed samba school and preparing for the samba contest in that year's Carnival parade.
"May well be the single best book ever written about the central place of music in the life of the Third World."—Washington Post Book World