Opinion: Brazil and the Not-so-Magic Mountain

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Thomas Mann’s mammoth novel is set in a sanatorium in a small town called Davos, nestled in the Swiss Alps. It claims to be the highest city in Switzerland at 1,560 meters altitude. Since 1971, it has hosted the annual winter meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), where the great and the near-great gather to look down upon the not-so-great.

Last year, to the surprise of many, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff attended the event, and she was invited to return again this year. It was . . .

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