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.

Brazil’s Secret History Of Southern Hospitality

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.

The Culture Warrior In Winter

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.

Waiting For Dark

Andy Greenberg, Wired

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

How College Wrestling Star ‘Tiger Mandingo’ Became An HIV Scapegoat

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.

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Battle For Baghdad

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.

Rise Of The Sea Urchin

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.”


Just Undo It: The LeBron James Profile That Nike Killed

Benjamin Markovits, Deadspin

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

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