With the starting point in the Seven Deadly Sins, Henrik Brandão Jönsson recounts the unlikely tale of how one of Europe’s poorest countries once was one of the world’s most powerful nations.
The legacy of the global imperium has made Portuguese the world’s third largest European language. Far more people have Portuguese as their mother tongue than French, German, or Italian. Yet, the Portuguese-speaking world rarely receives any attention. Why don’t we hear more about the world’s seventh largest language - spoken by a quarter of a billion people - on four of the world’s five continents?
The former Portuguese colonies are now functioning as the counterpoints to their neighbouring countries, where sex, alcohol, and gambling thrives. In most cases, the sin was so obvious that it became possible to divide the Portuguese-speaking world by the Seven Deadly Sins.
In Goa, drugs and gluttony had a foothold. In Macau the money and the greed had taken over. In the paradise island of Timor-Leste vanity thrived, and in sexy Mozambique lust prevailed. In the temperamental Angola wrath was growing, and in exuberant Brazil sloth had spread. All while mother Portugal felt envy towards what she had created abroad but had failed to accomplish at home.
"Henrik Brandão Jönsson’s book about Portugal’s bloody colonial history is full of hedonism (…) Brandão Jönsson’s book actually lands in the midst of the Black Lives Matter-movement that has become global, even though it was written before George Floyd was murdered,”
Göran Greider, DN Kultur.
“Brandão Jönsson splurges on unexpected information, writes easily and personally, and it flies by. It feels like Around the World in 80 Days.”
The Swedish Academy member Per Wästberg
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