Brazil is so diverse that generalizations about it run serious risk of being either bland platitudes of the lowest-common-denominator-variety or averages that mask great variations. Fernando Henrique Cardoso is a world-famous sociologist who has written about the region, whose roots are in Brazil's developed heartland, and who has served as foreign minister. Heartland; it includes the country's equivalent of Wall Street as well as of Detroit and St. Louis and has the port. Brazil's rivers supply the world's greatest hydroelectric generating potential and are being incorporated into the country's transportation system. The locomotive state of Brazil begins with narrow coastal lowland, overshadowed by a towering escarpment leading to a plateau on which is found the basin containing the capital city at an altitude of 2,500 feet. The city of Rio de Janeiro is still in many ways the country's cultural capital, and with its world-famous white beaches and Miami-like climate it is clearly the center of Brazil's multibillion-dollar tourist industry.