The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, May 31, 2014

From the origins of the religious right to the mind-bending corruption of Italian politics, the Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

05.31.14 9:45 AM ET

Randall Ballmer, Politico Magazine

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record is clear: it was segregation.

Jody Rosen, New York

Journey, Billy Joel, and Lionel Ritchie are better than you think.

Perry Anderson, London Review of Books

In a breathtaking, 19,000-word overview of the Italian political system in the context of conflicts over austerity, historian Perry Anderson delivers a shocking—and sometimes hilarious—diagnosis of the tragic miscarriage of democracy in one of Europe’s largest nations.

Eli Saslow, The Washington Post

An American struggles to prepare for life without her husband.

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James Young, Rolling Stone

With the World Cup fast approaching, Brazil is attempting to curtail its controversial soccer fan clubs. But who is really to blame for the violence surrounding the beautiful game?

Matthew Paul Turner, The Daily Beast

When critics appeared online, employees say the evangelical financial whiz went ballistic, allegedly firing innocent employees and offering bounties for information.