As We Watch Brazil’s Dance

By Anthony Lopopolo

In the beginning of Dave Zirin’s book, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil, one of America’s pre-eminent political sports writers tells us that he simply had to write a book about Brazil – a country, said one of his professors, that is certainly not for “beginners.” But Zirin is no beginner. He is the voice of reason in a country of unreasonable disparity.

He first starts in the favelas, one of them surrounding Rio’s Maracana, where hundreds of homes, once built by generations of families, were “cracked open.” Those residents were relocated, some moved hours away, some getting no compensation at all.

Zirin then interviews journalists and academics, street sweepers and the indigenous peoples, as he searches for the meaning behind everything that has happened in Brazil over the past year. His latest book is an essential companion for this month. It examines what it means to be Brazilian and explains why FIFA is exploiting the land like its colonizers from Portugal so many years ago.

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