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
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    416 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book

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. 

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!


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

The information about Where Men Win Glory shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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 ...

Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Jon Krakauer's Website

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

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more biographies & memoirs...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.