The bestselling author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven delivers a stunning, eloquent account of a remarkable young man's haunting journey.
Like the men whose epic stories Jon Krakauer has told in his previous bestsellers, Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army. He was deeply troubled by 9/11, and he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in southeastern Afghanistan.
Though obvious to most of the two dozen soldiers on the scene that a ranger in Tillman's own platoon had fired the fatal shots, the Army aggressively maneuvered to keep this information from Tillman's wife, other family members, and the American public for five weeks following his death. During this time, President Bush repeatedly invoked Tillman's name to promote his administration's foreign policy. Long after Tillman's nationally televised memorial service, the Army grudgingly notified his closest relatives that he had "probably" been killed by friendly fire while it continued to dissemble about the details of his death and who was responsible.
In Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer draws on Tillman's journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research on the ground in Afghanistan to render an intricate mosaic of this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death. Before he enlisted in the army, Tillman was familiar to sports aficionados as an undersized, overachieving Arizona Cardinals safety whose virtuosity in the defensive backfield was spellbinding. With his shoulder-length hair, outspoken views, and boundless intellectual curiosity, Tillman was considered a maverick. America was fascinated when he traded the bright lights and riches of the NFL for boot camp and a buzz cut. Sent first to Iraq--a war he would openly declare was "illegal as hell" --and eventually to Afghanistan, Tillman was driven by complicated, emotionally charged, sometimes contradictory notions of duty, honor, justice, patriotism, and masculine pride, and he was determined to serve his entire three-year commitment. But on April 22, 2004, his life would end in a barrage of bullets fired by his fellow soldiers.
Krakauer chronicles Tillman's riveting, tragic odyssey in engrossing detail highlighting his remarkable character and personality while closely examining the murky, heartbreaking circumstances of his death. Infused with the power and authenticity readers have come to expect from Krakauer's storytelling, Where Men Win Glory exposes shattering truths about men and war.
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Showing 1-7 of the 7 most recent reviews
1 . Just ok, it drags on and is very biased
Posted May 23, 2010 by Steve , Greenville, SCI have read some of Krakauer's other books and this was by far my least favorite. I would not recommend reading it. The story of Tillman's service and death is interesting, but the book drags on and spends most of the time talking about how bad America's government leaders were. I got rather sick of the constant bias that the author included in his writing.
2 . Straight from MoveOn.org
Posted March 12, 2010 by Frank H , Concord, NCI have read other Krakaeur books and enjoyed them. I was excited to hear that he had done this book about Tillman and was looking forward to learning more about what really happened behind the scenes. Halfway through this book though I just gave up on it. It's nothing but another Bush-stole-the-election-Ilegal-War-All-about-Enron leftist diatribe. It's unfortunate that many of the people attracted to this book will be dis-illusioned about Pat Tillman as a result. Jon has done a major injustice to the Tillman family with this piece.
3 . Interesting Account
Posted January 12, 2010 by Craig Clarke , Stratford, PEKrakauer gives us a behind the scenes examination that sheds light on the life and tragic death of Tillman. I think the book gets a bit bogged down by the details of the military operations prior to his death, but I suppose he feels he needs to provide a foundation to explain the chaos that follows. The story could have probably been effectively told in a series of magazine articles. The personal story of Pat Tillman and the relationships with the people close to him is what makes this book worth your while.
4 . Unfortunate
Posted November 21, 2009 by Creighton , DallasI have always enjoyed reading Krakauer books and this one falls into that category too. He lets you in on Pat Tillman and makes you realize he is even more of a hero than we had ever know. Pat makes you want to be a better person. I was very disappointed in Krakauer's use of Pat to go on rants on the Bush Administration and anyone who happens to find themselves a conservative. While I have known from my previous reads that Krakauer falls on the other end of the political spectrum than I do, I have always found him to be fair and respectful. Being one that does not shy away from criticism of my views and political figures that I supported, Krakauer goes to great lengths to alienate that portion of his fan base. Krakauer also loses a lot of credibility with his discussion of the Bush/Gore election. He refers to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision but never once mentions that the actual decision was 7-2. The 5-4 decision was only about continuing/starting the recount over. Because I am quite familiar with that case, it raised issues of integrity with Krakauer that clouded the rest of the story.
All that being said, I do appreciate the deep insight into Pat. He is one of those guys you just wish you knew and he made this world a better place when he was here. And for that, thanks Jon.
5 . Diatribe
Posted November 14, 2009 by Neo-Not , ReddingJon spends most of his time on his political diatribe of the past administration. His bias is like a cancer in this book. Pat Tillman was a patriot, period. His honor..duty..country is lost in what should have been a compeling story of what happened and what went wrong. Worst book Krakauer has done. I always appreciated his jounalistic work in other books, I will not waste any money on future works. Tell me a un-biased account, I will make up my own opinion, which he could have done. I'm tired of neo-left..and neo-right, they each have their "Master Narrative."
6 . A must read for why we need to get out of the Middle East
Posted November 11, 2009 by Terry Morrison , Centreville, VAThe fourth book I've read by Mr. Krakauer, and was good but not one of this best. Well researched and a tragic story for one with such noble causes. I'm sure a fan of the Tillman family now.
7 . fantastic
Posted October 18, 2009 by biker , fairbanksThis book gives insights into the Bush-Gore election, the Afganistan War, and the American Military and of course the life of Pat Tillman. Very well done.
September 12, 2009
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