The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for December 10, 2011

From the king of all real-estate scams to the strange divisiveness of Tim Tebow, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

12.10.11 4:00 AM ET

A Boy Learns to Brawl
John Branch, The New York Times

The first part of a series investigating the life of Derek Boogard, the Canadian hockey player who died suddenly at age 28 in May. (The series continues with part two and part three.)

The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams
Felix Gillette, Businessweek

A twisted tale of how homeowners were bilked by those they least suspected: their neighbors.

The Trial of Stephen Glass
Jack Shafer, Reuters

Journalism’s most famous, most shameless fabulist is back, and his fight to practice law in California gives us a look at his sordid psyche.

The People Who Hate Tim Tebow
Chuck Klosterman, Grantland

On the most (curious, complicated, downright strange) polarizing athlete of our age.

Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War?
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

The belief that the Civil War wasn’t for us was the result of the country’s long search for a narrative that could reconcile white people with each other, one that avoided what professional historians now know to be true: that one group of Americans attempted to raise a country wholly premised on property in Negroes, and that another group of Americans, including many Negroes, stopped them.

Trial of the Will
Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair

Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Oh, really?