**** NOW CLOSED ****
Winner: Rhoda W from MI

Hey all, this giveaway is for Culture is Our Weapon by Patrick Neate and Damian Platt, and I couldn’t agree more. As usual, my unbiased daughter will pick the winner from our newsletter participants. This giveaway ends on 3/15/10. To get involved fill out the innocuous form below, and Read on!

CULTURE IS OUR WEAPON: Making Music and Changing Lives in Rio De Janeiro (Penguin Paperback Original; March 2010) by Patrick Neate and Damian Platt is a gripping tour through Rio that brings readers into dangerous neighborhoods and throbbing clubs, into the corrupt back alleys and the makeshift classrooms where children are being offered the chance to fight back – with art.

Brazil is a country of severe contradictions: even as its culture enjoys an ever higher profile in the West, an undeclared, vicious, and often ignored drug war is being fought on the streets of its cities’ favelas (shantytowns). As seen through the eyes of those most affected by war and through those who are fighting back, this unique and remarkable book brings this perpetual battle to light, revealing the terrifying complexities of life on the frontline of one of the most damaging civil conflicts in Latin America.

Deep in the folds of the conflict, however, there is hope. It is found in the extraordinary work of Grupo Cultural AfreReggae, a Rio-based NGO which seeks to divert favela residents from the path of poverty and violence through music and an appreciation of black culture. AfroReggae is a force for real social change in the Rio favelas. It is also a role model for what is possible when an oppressed community decides to resist the twin onslaught of violence and poverty.

Powerful and moving, CULTURE IS OUR WEAPON is an unforgettable look at Rio, its people, and this extraordinary organization. What emerges is a colorful portrait of resistance, ethnic diversity, social inequality, and the timeless power of music in a society of fascinating, often heart rendering extremes.

About the authors:
Damian Platt was born in Nairobi and grew up in West London. From the age of fifteen onwards he traveled widely around Europe. He reached Brazil for the first time in 1994. He was a Brazil Campaigner for Amnesty International between 1997 and 2005, where he researched human rights in the USA, Colombia, Haiti and Brazil among other countries. Between 2006 and 2008 he was the Coordinator for International Partnerships at the cultural group AfroReggae in Rio de Janeiro. He is currently involved in a number of cultural projects in Rio, including the setting up of a cultural center in Providência, the first officially recognized favela in Brazil.

Patrick Neate is the author of four novels. His book WHERE YOU’RE AT: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip Hop Planet won the prestigious National Books Critics Circle prize for criticism in the US in 2005.

Please visit www.penguin.com for more information

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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