Where Men Win Glory: Book summary and reviews of Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer

Where Men Win Glory

The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

By Jon Krakauer

Where Men Win Glory
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

Reader Review
"I am glad that someone is doing something about the cover ups that the military does... my son was killed, but they keep saying he accidentally shot himself when he went into a soldier's room who happened to have an illegal handgun. Once I keep pointing out things that didn't make sense,, they stop talking to me, and won't even send me a copy of the incident...said there is nothing I can do to them. I have tried so many avenues to say all I want is closure... I am glad that at least one mom got some type of closure. I commend you for being a good writer... may god bless and keep you safe..." - Pennie

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Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Will
Extreme Bush Bashing
Krakauer is so vehement in his Bush bashing, that the Pat Tillman story becomes a sub-plot. A less biased book would have been far more believable. The author's intense loathing of Bush leaves me wondering what is accurate in this novel and what is driven by his extreme political leanings. He basically wants to blame Bush for Tillman's death. I don't know what to think of Tillman as a person --was he a true hero as depicted or an obnoxious, arrogant SOB. Maybe a little of both. If you hate Bush you will enjoy this book. Otherwise don't bother.

Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Tim Kilcrease
Where Men Win Glory?
Kraukauer's title should contain a question mark. At least the reader would have an inkling of the monotonous and verbose political diatribe to come. It is nothing short of a false advertisement. The money is in the till and you have just purchased a slanted editorial wearing the clothing of a heroic biography. Don't waste your money on this one; if you want Krakauer's political views, just watch 60 minutes.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Kevin
Informative and insightful
Krakauer once again uses the main character to give a humanistic story to challenge current societal systems. Character development is Krakauer's strength, and the Pat Tillman portrayal as a young man questioning his role and beliefs brings human nature into question. The blend of story telling interwoven with research allows for an important story to be told. As with all of his books, Krakauer forces the reader toward additional outside research to answer important questions.

Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Jason
Tillman would be very disappointed
Krakauer has produced some good work. This book is not it.

Tillman is an interesting man and the details of the firefight that killed him and gripping. But Krakauer has an ax to grind, and he ruthlessly exploits Tillman's memory to do so.

You can see this coming early in the book when Krakauer spend 5 PAGES on a wildly misleading account of the 2000 election fight in Florida and Bush v Gore. It continues relentlessly, and soon the view of Tillman fades into the background as Krakauer's politics become the focal point of the book.

It's a real shame.

Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Duane J. Fangman
Ruin a good topic
This book isn't about Pat Tillman. it is about Jon Krakauer's liberal bias and his hate of George Bush and the entire Republican Party. If Pat Tillman was still with us, he would be probably be ashamed.

Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Denise
Where Men Win Glory
This book is a huge disappointment.... it is not based on facts.
It is merely a one sided opinionated book. Where are the supporting facts the author makes about the Officers discussed in the text? It is not creditable in any sense of the word. Anyone can write a lengthy opinion without backing up any of their facts or data.... totally worthless read!

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Author Information

Jon Krakauer Author Biography

Jon Krakauer is an award-winning non-fiction author who has written five books in addition to dozens of articles in magazines such as Outside, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Rolling Stone and others In his latest work, Where Men Win Glory, he tells the story of Pat Tillman, the NFL player who joined the Army and died in Afghanistan. Mr. Krakrauer's other bestsellers include Under the Banner of Heaven, Into the Wild, and Into Thin Air. He is editor of the Modern Library Exploration series. He lives with his wife in Boulder, Colorado.

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Other books by Jon Krakauer at BookBrowse
  • Under the Banner of Heaven jacket
  • Into Thin Air jacket
  • Into The Wild jacket
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