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Hardcover Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman Book

ISBN: 0385522266

ISBN13: 9780385522267

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

So tragic in so many ways.

This book opened my eyes to the horrors of serving in the military and how poor decisions by those leaders can lead to tragedy. Shame on the military for treating surviving family members the way they do.

This book will make you angry . . .

This book will make you angry but you should not be angry with the author but rather with the actions of the military and our government. Many reviewers are upset with Krakauer, accusing him of putting forth a political agenda in this book. What I cannot understand is how these readers are not actually upset with the cover-up and exploitation of Pat Tillman's death. Everyone needs to suspend their political beliefs and just focus on the extraordinary story of Pat Tillman and what he did for his country. Yes, I can see how readers may have felt that Krakauer may have been inserting a political agenda in this book. I have to respectfully disagree with them though, because reporting the facts does not necessarily mean a secret agenda. Who exploited Pat Tillman? Who covered up the facts? Read this book to find out. You may not like what you find out, but the truth can be painful. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It truly was hard to put down. I hope one day that the Tillmans find the answers that they are looking for.

The Hero Compared to His Bosses

Everyone who has followed current events even slightly over the past five years knows that football hero and soldier Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, and that the military had trouble telling the truth about his death from rifle fire by his own platoon. Tillman had a remarkable life for one who died at age 27, and in _Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman_ (Doubleday), Jon Krakauer has provided the biography that Tillman deserves, vivid and compelling. As good as the biography is, however, it isn't Krakauer's main story, which concentrates on the political and moral crimes committed by the Bush administration and the Army as they tried to convince Americans (and Tillman's family) that Tillman had heroically died shot by Taliban soldiers instead of sadly, futilely dying from friendly fire. Krakauer has drawn his title from Homer, and within the book uses also an epigram by Aeschylus; this is not exaggeration. For one thing, Tillman, in addition to countless other interests, was compelled to study the Greek classics. More importantly, this is a brilliantly-told story of a genuine dramatic tragedy, because readers know how it is going to turn out, and watch as Tillman, compelled by his own sense of duty and self-challenge, is doomed by the fates and the powers that be. Tillman was an extraordinary character, and liked doing things his own way. He drove a Jeep, a car that had no flash, and he kept cats, not dogs. He was an ardent advocate for the rights of homosexuals, and he always had a book handy so that no time was wasted. He had brains, something that football players are not celebrated for, but more importantly, he was introspective and self-critical, constantly writing in his journal about any defects he saw in himself and what he would do to overcome them. (One of the most attractive parts of Krakauer's book is its generous quoting from the journals.) He was a standout as safety for the Arizona Cardinals, earning a fine reputation for playing a smart and aggressive game even though the Cardinals weren't much of a team otherwise. He had a $3.6 million dollar contract coming up, but after 9/11, walked away from it to sign on for the Army for three years. He thought about joining the officer corps, but wanted to be in the immediate action. The Bush administration saw the propaganda value of this young man so devoted to serving his country, but Tillman would not cooperate. He refused interviews and media appearances; he had his job and he wanted just to do it, and he faded into Army obscurity. When he was assigned to Afghanistan, it was not long before he was in the mission that resulted in his death. The mistakes that happened, compounded errors and misjudgments, might be excused as mere manifestations of the fog of war. What is inexcusable is how, after Tillman was shot three times in the head by an American machine gunner, the Army quickly sprang into action to cover up the friendly fire incident. Krakauer

Krakauer's subjects defy convention

Pat Tillman went from playing in the NFL to giving up a multi million dollar contract to become a "friendly fire" statistic in Afghanistan. Krakauer says thus far in the current Iraq War 41 percent of U S casualties are by "friendly fire". The number was 39 percent in Vietnam and 52 percent the first Iraq war. Tillman's widow Marie was the only family member to contribute "on the record" for Krakauer's book. Political alert: Since most of my conservative friends see anything that challenges their orthodoxy and world view as unworthy of attention I don't think they will like or appreciate this book. Why? Because we learn that Pat Tillman and his family do not reinforce the stereotype of a fallen American Military hero. Tillman questioned the Iraq war, opposed the Bush administrations conduct of the war, was an atheist who did not wish to have a religious or a military service if he died and all the same was a reluctant hero who gave up much to volunteer along with his brother to fight after 9/11. Why did Tillman join the Army and want to be an enlisted man? Tillman kept a very detailed and personal journal and Krakauer is an excellent writer who seems to find these unusual individuals that defy convention (such as in his books Into the Wild and Into Thin Air which is still his best work). Here Krakauer jumps back and forth between recent events to focus on Tillman's life, marriage, and friends concluding with how it was possible for him to be shot by an individual from his own platoon with three .223-caliber bullets tightly grouped together as they entered the right side of Tillman's forehead. His brain to be found days later in the dirt near where he died and it was later lost as a result of one of many strange Army snafus. How could this event happen? Why when it did happen did the Army cover it up? Did they cover it up? Why did the Army provide false testimonial evidence to support a silver star for Tillman? Why did they order members of Tillman's platoon not to provide accurate information on the events of the shooting, especially to Tillman's brother who was a member of that very same platoon? And why was manufacturing pro war propaganda so important to those in the Bush administration? And lastly, how many Americans today even know the truth about Tillman after all these years (Tillman was killed in 2004)? This is a sad and disturbing book that leads one to think about what it means to fight and die for one's country. This is also an important book, if only to insure we obtain a better understanding of what happened to someone who marched to his own personal beliefs no matter the risk. And how his government betrayed his memory. (Note: Krakauer's book reminded me, in part, of the excellent 1976 book about Vietnam by C.D.B. Bryan, titled

A book that changed my perspective.

I was originally not very impressed by Pat Tillman's sacrifice. I believe our culture it too quick to call someone a hero. Most people use the expression to counterbalance their own insecurity of not serving in the military. After serving 6 years in the army including tours in Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, I can honestly say I did not meet one hero--including myself. I now believe Pat Tillman's life was heroic. I say this because he was truly cognizant of America and its misgivings and yet he still willingly served. I did not become aware until about halfway through my tour in Iraq. Once I became aware, rage consumed me. Rage is a normal reaction when one realizes halfway through an act that what they are doing is morally reprehensible. Tillman could have easily escaped combat duty if he wanted. He refused to be used by the Bush regime and the military industrial complex, but still performed the duties that he believed to be right. I cannot express how unique of a person he was. He was a rarity in our world. The narrative on how the military brass and the Bush regime tried to use him and then cover up how he died made the rage come back all over again. I had to walk away from the book several times. The politics behind the story is vital to the context of the story. It's what makes him a tragic hero. A story that only romanticizes his sacrifice so we Americans can thump our chests in pride would be a disservice to his life. Those who are truly aware will appreciate this book. Those who wish to be in the dark will not.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman Mentions in Our Blog

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman in NFL Stars: On and Off the Field
NFL Stars: On and Off the Field
Published by Melina Lynne • August 26, 2016

Excitement is in the air! The drafts are picked, teams assembled, and training camps done. We are now fully immersed in football season: the number one cause of hoarse vocal chords, heated Facebook debates, and self-proclaimed referees. Chips and beer are becoming harder to come by on weekends, and our close friends are slowly becoming our Sunday morning/afternoon enemies.

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