South America is a continent of contrasts, from crowded cities like Rio de Janeiro to the icy wilderness of Patagonia and the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin. Some South American countries enjoy relative wealth, thanks to plentiful natural resources and thriving industries, while others struggle with poverty, debt and the illegal drug trade. With the continent's riches being so unequally distributed, it will be a massive challenge for governments to give all young South Americans a chance of a bright future.This authoritative new series describes the history, landscape, culture, economy and people of this continent. This title is also packed full of fascinating facts, maps and statistics. A statistical compendium at the back provides a handy reference guide for key statistical data.