Stop the world: It's the World Cup. Erik Spanberg reviews Eight World Cups: My Journey through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer by George Vecsey. The introduction to Football's Dark Side: Corruption, Homophobia, Violence and Racism in the Beautiful Game by Ellis Cashmore and Jamie Cleland. The World Cup is about to begin, and FIFA's reputation has never been worse. John Oliver goes inside the “cartoonishly evil” organization of FIFA. Throw FIFA out of the game: Dave Zirin on how people don’t have to be displaced and workers don’t need to die for soccer. The growing stink at FIFA: New light is being shed on the choice of Qatar to host football’s biggest event in 2022. FIFA needs to take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar — now. What is the World Cup worth? Simon Chadwick investigates. Is the World Cup a poisoned chalice? Sol Campbell and Simon Kuper battle it out in the match of the century. As World Cup nears, American “football” fans adapt foreign traditions. Is 2014 the year soccer in America (truly) goes mainstream? Marc Tracy on how Major League Soccer can beat the English Premier League in America: Embrace its inner Brooklyn. Sam Borden on how Jurgen Klinsmann plans to make U.S. soccer better — and less American (and more and more). Contrary to popular wisdom, the playing styles of national soccer teams is not reflective of underlying national cultural characteristics. A look at 53 World Cup cliches you’ll probably hear over the coming weeks. Joseph Stromberg on 10 things non-soccer fans need to know about the World Cup. Ritchie King, Allison McCann and Matthew Conlen on FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions (and more by Nate Silver: It’s Brazil’s World Cup to lose).

Stuart M. Shieber (Harvard): There Can Be No Turing-Test-Passing Memorizing Machines. Neil Hammerton (Open): Should I Be Mother Theresa or Howard Hughes? An Egalitarian Evaluation. Michael J. Graetz (Columbia): The Tax Reform Road Not Taken — Yet. Christopher Ketcham on the troubling case of Chris Hedges: Pulitzer winner, Lefty hero, plagiarist. Ted Scheinman on George Will and the latest in rape-denialism. Here are 11 political lessons from Eric Cantor’s loss. Everybody hates Eric Cantor: A roundup. Charles Pierce on the friends of Dave Brat. Ethan Watters on the germ theory of democracy, dictatorship, and all your most cherished beliefs: Is culture just a side effect of the struggle to avoid disease? Neila Orr on how gossip blogs became the main public record for black culture. Jet magazine, staple of black press, to end print product, switch to online-only format. Fox or “moral imbecile”? Benjamin Welton on William Edward Hickman and the murder of Marion Parker. Why is the American far Right more violent than the American far Left? They've killed 40 people since September 11. Brad Plumer on how the US stopped its fisheries from collapsing. Amy Novogratz and Mike Velings on the end of fish: The ones we like to eat are rapidly vanishing from the ocean. Jacob Soll on the vanished grandeur of accounting: Once, bookkeepers were valorized in great art. You can’t say that: Is it time to write the epitaph for epithets? Thomas Kinkade’s death shocked his legions of fans — not only had the Painter of Light died at 54, but the cause was alcohol and Valium; how did the evangelical darling fall so far?

Soren Scholvin (Hanover) and Andres Malamud (Lisbon): Is there a Geoeconomic Node in South America? Geography, Politics and Brazil’s Role in Regional Economic Integration. John Paul Rathbone reviews Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power by Michael Reid. Brazil let its citizens make decisions about city budgets — here’s what happened: New research on "participatory institutions" shows how effective they can be. The gun library: Graham Denyer Willis on an ethic of crime in Sao Paulo. Suketu Mehta is in the violent favelas of Brazil. Brazil is “totally screwed”: Shannon Sims on how the land of sun, sex, and soccer couldn’t be more down about the World Cup. Mariana Assis on the Brazilian discontents behind the World Cup stage (and more). Yes, Brazilians still love soccer, but they hate the World Cup and what it has come to represent. Sara Afzal on 11 problems Brazil doesn't want the world to see before the World Cup. Lara Pham on Brazil’s World Cup: The good, bad and unequal. Mike LaSusa on race, class and the World Cup in Brazil. Matt Slaughter and Jaana Remes on Brazil’s own goals. Mac Margolis on how Brazil's Rousseff goes offside. Diego von Vacano and Thiago Silva on Brazil’s protest paradox: The World Cup offers an opportunity for protests in Brazil but is not the main reason those protests are taking place. Will protests and scandals ruin public attitudes toward hosting the World Cup? If Brazil cares about its legacy, it won't silence World Cup protesters. Fernando Alcoforado on false patriotism of Brazilian people with the World Cup. Leon Krauze on the pleasures of rooting against Brazil: No team has ever acted so entitled to World Cup glory. Alex Bellos on Neymar, Brazil pin-up.