Three very interesting complicated narratives dominate the issue:
* Nicholas Schmidle’s “In the Crosshairs” tells the compelling story of Chris Kyle, the highly decorated military killing machine and co-author of the best-seller American Sniper, whose well-intentioned efforts to help Iraqi veterans suffering from PTSD brought him in contact with Eddie Ray Routh, with disastrous results.
* In “The Manic Mountain,” Nick Paumgarten writes about an intense fight on Mt. Everest between elite white European climbers and the local sherpas who make the slopes safe for commercial tourism.
* Jill Lepore’s sharply negative review of Neil Thompson’s new biography A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It Or Not!” Ripley manages to achieve a capsule portrait of not only Ripley but also Goeffrey T. Hellman, who wrote many in-depth New Yorker profiles, including one of Ripley that ran in two successive issues in 1940.
I enjoyed reading Alex Halberstadt’s profile of Kim Gordon, even though I have never managed to get anything out of listening to Sonic Youth’s music. And I have to admit that I loved Emily Nussbaum’s review of Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra — I pretty much agree with everything she says about the movie.
Oh, and great timely cover by Marcellus Hall: