TED Blog

If you ever find yourself in Brazil, advises Misha Glenny, try to look past the samba, soccer and sea. The journalist, who is currently researching a book on the underground drug trade in Rio de Janeiro, sees a Brazil of challenges, contradictions and opportunities that are far more complex than the celebrations on Ipanema let on.

During an in-office TED session, Glenny took a look at Brazil’s long, winding history and showed how the nation’s pervasive economic inequality traces back to Portuguese colonialism. We can still see the effects today, he asserts in the talk above, a TED Blog exclusive.

2014 is arguably the biggest year in Brazil’s history, as economic hopes, social gains and national pride converge in this year’s World Cup. It’s the first time since 1950 that Brazil has hosted the tournament. Since the country has seen huge strides in economic growth and social programs…

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