08.19.10

The Yes List—The Untold Story of Pat Tillman

Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, a new documentary goes behind the death of pro football player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman, Steve Wynn discusses his recent Rembrandt acquisition, and a new novel navigates love, loss, and self-discovery.

The Untold Story of Pat Tillman

Pro football star and Army Ranger Patrick Tillman Jr. gave up a multimillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to serve his country and became the most famous enlisted man in Afghanistan. Then he died in the midst of friendly fire near the Pakistan border. Now, in the aftermath, comes The Tillman Story, a “powerfully affecting” documentary, writes The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, that attempts to get to the bottom of what happened that day. “It’s an important movie,” antiwar activist Jane Fonda told Grove. “I sort of feel dead [after watching it]. I feel numb from anger and sadness that nothing has changed in the coverup. We covered up in Vietnam and we’re still covering up.” So far, the film’s got critics raving, too. “Intensely dramatic, filled with elevated heroism, crass self-interest, and blatant stupidity, it’s a paradigmatic narrative of our tendentious, turbulent times,” writes the Los Angeles Times. Go see it now. We might need its lessons again soon.

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Steve Wynn’s $33 Million Rembrandt

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When a mystery bidder nabbed a Rembrandt masterpiece last winter, many said it was the work of resort-casino pioneer Steve Wynn. And as Steve Freiss reveals in The Daily Beast, they were right. In fact, Wynn was the lone bidder and won the 1658 Portrait of a Man With Arms Akimbo for the minimum price—an incredible deal, all told. “I knew then and there that I had just made one of the best purchases of my art-collecting life,” said Wynn, who bought the painting sight-unseen and sent it to Nancy Krieg, a restoration expert in New York, before shipping it to Las Vegas, where the portrait now hangs in Wynn’s office. “I really just want to enjoy my pictures,” he said. “I don’t owe any money in the world. I settled my divorce. I enjoy my paintings. I’m living an orderly life.”

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A Novel Studying the Human Psyche

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Rosecrans Baldwin’s (named for his ancestor, the Civil War General William Rosecrans) first novel, You Lost Me There, explores the fundamental differences we all have, both celebrating each person’s unique mind and exploring the heart-wrenching sadness and frustration this can cause. Following a recently widowed scientist’s discovery of his late wife’s perception of their marriage, Baldwin’s novel skillfully navigates the human psyche in this masterful study of love, loss, and self-discovery. Baldwin, a founder of The Morning News, has truly found his footing in this book. At turns revelatory, heartbreaking, and tender, Entertainment Weekly said it shows “steadying compassion and literary flair in the dissection of miseries.” It was moving enough to be one of our Hot Reads of the week on Book Beast.

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