Andreas Campomar

Marvellous, murderous city

Brazil may be the land of the future, as Misha Glenny suggests — but living there now has become practically impossible

When Stefan Zweig first arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1936, he was overwhelmed not only by the city’s magnificent landscape but also by its ordered architecture and city planning. This encounter he would later describe as being ‘one of the most powerful impressions of my whole life’. In his Brazil: Land of the Future, a book that was an exercise in wish-fulfilment masquerading as travelogue, Zweig believed the country to be the embodiment of ‘future civilisation and peace in our world’.

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