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Nemesis by Misha Glenny
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Nemesis by Misha Glenny
Paperback $17.00
Feb 21, 2017 | ISBN 9780345806833

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    Feb 21, 2017 | ISBN 9780345806833

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  • Feb 09, 2016 | ISBN 9780385351041

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“Incredible….an epic, painstakingly detailed story about the rise of a favela kid to king of an empire…. what Glenny does so well is explain the context for Rio’s drug world, and the battle to contain and (to use the word local officials concerned about Rio’s global image employ) “pacify” it. What emerges is not just a study of one man and how he came to control a cartel, but a portrait of a city bursting with new arrivals from poorer parts of Brazil, unfortunates who wind up clustered in shantytowns that lack adequate water, electricity and, crucially, economic opportunity…. Without glorifying Nem or trying too hard to justify his bitterly violent enterprise, Glenny humanizes a kind of person we tend to see drawn as a two-dimensional character. And he shows how the fortunes of Rio — to say nothing of its reputation on the world stage — are tied to its ability to do well by its poorest and most marginalized citizens.” —The Seattle Times
“Reading “Nemesis” is like taking a walking tour of Baltimore’s underworld with Stringer Bell….Most true-crime accounts are heavy on car chases and shootouts, and light on analysis. Glenny turns that formula upside down. He is at his best in a quieter voice, sorting out why the police cannot simply swoop into a favela and arrest Mr. Big, and how street lookout and, especially, how a smart young Brazilian with a sick baby could transform himself into a crime lord.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A balanced, but ultimately sympathetic, biography of the leader of a relatively small local drug cartel. Nem’s personal story anchors more profound reportage about Brazil’s parallel economic and political systems—specifically, Rocinha’s existence as a largely autonomous urban community and what happens when the government attempts to destroy, substantially reduce, or otherwise encroach on that autonomy.” —New York Journal of Books
“His name is Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes. But you can call him Nemesis, everyone else does, and he was the don of Rocinha, the largest of Rio’s slums, known as favelas. He is also the protagonist of Misha Glenny’s fine book, the grim, elucidating Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio…. For all the tale’s vileness, it is very skillfully told and a very strong piece of journalism.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Fearlessly reported with impressive detail….Mr. Glenny doesn’t preach or moralize. He shows that law enforcement in Rio is as problematic as the criminals, and in doing so, he paints what seems to be a true picture. This is a balanced book in the best sense.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Misha Glenny’s Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio aims to give a sense of what life is like in those favelas, which, though they exist on the margins of every Brazilian metropolis, are especially visible and important in Rio, where they number more than one thousand and overlook Ipanema, Copacabana, and other elegant neighborhoods….To tell this exceedingly complicated story, Glenny focuses on Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, nicknamed Nem, for many years the drug boss of Rocinha, a favela whose approximately 150,000 residents make it Rio’s biggest….Glenny is correct to conceive of the 1980s and onward as a true ‘battle for Rio,’ and he clearly sympathizes with the beleaguered favela residents, caught as they are between the drug gangs and police. He also gives us portraits, complete with humanizing details, of the police officers who tried to negotiate Nem’s surrender before he was arrested….Nemesis is a useful and readable introduction to the favela phenomenon.” —The New York Review

“In 1999, with no criminal background, Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes was a typical resident of Rocinha, trying to figure out how to survive and support his family in one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas. Less than six years later he was known as Nem, in charge of the large criminal organization unofficially ruling over Rocinha. The story of Nem acts as the glue for this title, in which journalist Glenny successfully explores the history of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on the violence, drug trade, politics, police forces, and related corruption within Rio’s favelas since the 1960s….Glenny employs a writing style that both keeps the story moving and the reader wanting more.” —Library Journal

“[Glenny] is able to shed considerable light on the shadowy interconnections between the powers that be in the favela and the various police forces, most of which are thuggish and corrupt, as well as the politicians that reach out to favela voters at election time….Mind-bending and terrifying, rich in detail and nuance.” —

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