Monday memo #15: Brazil


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Each day at the The Browser we recommend five or six pieces of outstanding new writing. In the Monday Memo we plunder our archives to bring you our all-time favourites on a current theme. This week: the extraordinary country Brazil
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No Revanchismo

Alejandro Chacoff | n+1 | 5th September 2015

Brazil's National Truth Commission launched in 2011 to investigate the murder of civilians under the military dictatorship. The army deposed the elected president in 1964, killing and torturing many civilians in its 20-year rule. But now it calls for the country to "move on" and not take revenge – "no revanchismo." The latest commission has not revoked the amnesty for perpetrators, to the disappointment of victims' families (7,110 words)

One Hundred Years Of Armbars

David Samuels | Grantland | 26th August 2015

"If you want your face smashed, your backside kicked and your arms broken, contact Carlos Gracie at this address." The Gracie family learned judo from a wandering Japanese wrestler in 1916, opened a martial-arts school in Rio de Janeiro, honed their fighting style over four generations into Gracie jiu-jitsu, and brought it to America as Mixed Martial Arts – now a billion-dollar sport. If you master Gracie jiu-jitsu, "aggression ceases to exist" (16,500 words)

Man Versus Machine

Brian Phillips | Grantland | 11th July 2014

Reflections on Germany's victory over Brazil. Even recollected in tranquility, emotions run high: "It's at least not crazy to argue that it was the worst defeat in the history of sports. Here's what Germany did to Brazil. They produced something so staggering that it still feels irreducible. They left the soccer world functionally speechless. They broke metaphor. They stunned hundreds of millions of people" (2,000 words)

Lula’s Brazil

Perry Anderson | London Review Of Books | 28th March 2011

(Very) long essay on Luiz Inacio da Silva, "the most successful politician of his time". A good and popular man. He understood that the poor wanted material improvement and social justice – but not unrest. They, too, valued stability
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