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07.13.14 10:45 AM ET

The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, July 13, 2014

From a secret Confederate colony in Brazil to the LeBron profile Nike never wanted you to see, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Stephen Bloom, Narratively    

Some 7,000 Confederates set sail for Brazil in the aftermath of the American Civil War, settling in a city called Americana. Their few remaining descendants live in a cultural time warp, speaking antiquated American English, sipping mint iced tea and trading stories about vanished plantation glory days.

Tiffany Stanley, National Journal   

How the implosion of evangelical radio host and political powerhouse Richard Land—nicknamed “God’s Lobbyist”—in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting sounded the death knell for the old Moral Majority religious right. 

Andy Greenberg, Wired

Crypto-anarchists. Black-market currency. Texas. Need we say more?

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Steven Thrasher, Buzzfeed   

Michael Johnson was an athletic celebrity at Missouri’s Lindenwood University until police arrested him for allegedly infecting his gay partners with HIV. Buzzfeed’s brilliant deep dive on the racialized politics of HIV-related crimes, how police may have botched Johnson’s case, and where responsibility lies when two consenting adults have unprotected sex.

Patrick Cockburn, London Review of Books

An elegant meditation from a seasoned Mideast hand on the mood in Baghdad as the army dissolves and the capital seethes with sectarian fear.

Franz Lidz, Smithsonian Magazine  

In the icy fjordic waters north of the Arctic Circle, Scottish émigré Roderick Sloan goes diving for sea urchins to peddle to Europe’s finest restaurants. The taste, says one gourmand, is “like you’re making out with the sea.”

BONUS LONGREAD

Benjamin Markovits, Deadspin

The  definitive LeBron profile that the Swoosh kings never wanted you to see.

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.