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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 by Jon Krakauer X
Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
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  • Published Sep 2009
    416 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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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

This information about Where Men Win Glory was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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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.

Tony

Excellent but could have been shorter
A great trio of stories woven together: Pat Tillman’s bio, the USA’s decades of misguided Middle East policy, and a deplorable military cover-up. It could have had less detail but it is well written. It does not treat Bush unfairly but the history of our Middle East misadventure after 9/11 cannot be told without reference to Bush’s terrible decisions.

Joseph Bowery

A Bait and Switch
I’ve always liked Krakauer’s writing style but he’s using the death of Pat Tillman to promote his obvious political bias. There’s a time and place for that kind of posturing though this most certainly is neither. Typical Krakauer to use another man’s blood to enrich his own pocket. Hey Jon… the book was about Pat Tillman, not you .

Dave

Where Men Win Glory
Not badly written. Very interesting story! My disappointment is that he feels the need to constantly inject his anti-Bush opinions into this supposedly factual account of an American hero. Along with using incorrect facts to try to bolster HIS agenda. Loses a lot of credibility.

Dan

Author lies
The real clincher for the author’s deceit is how his narrative is entirely different to Jessica Lynch’s narrative before congress of her particular situation (YouTube). I don’t know what to believe now and I may quit on it. Lots of republican bashing. Lots of profanity also.

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.

...4 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Jon Krakauer Author Biography

Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, primarily known for his writings about the outdoors, especially mountain-climbing. He is the author of best-selling non-fiction books: Into the Wild, Into Thin Air,Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman as well as numerous magazine articles.

Born in 1954, Jon Krakauer grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where his father introduced him to mountaineering as an eight-year-old. After graduating from Hampshire College in 1976, Krakauer divided his time between Colorado, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest, supporting himself primarily as a carpenter and commercial salmon fisherman. For the next two decades, however, his life revolved around climbing mountains.

In 1996 Krakauer climbed Mt. Everest, but a storm ...

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

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