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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat…

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009)

by Jon Krakauer

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1,218616,542 (3.86)35
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Review: Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer.

Based on the story Jon Krakarer makes his point that perhaps the true hero’s of western culture always has been exploited, betrayed and let down by their governments, superiors and society. His opinions and comments are thought provoking, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking to the readers mostly based on ex-NFL player/ US Military Pat Tillman’s tragic short life.

Pat Tillman’s motivation for leaving the NFL and enlisting in the military was stunning to a lot of his fans. I don’t even think Tillman understood the true meaning behind it. In the book Tillman even had times when his thoughts were confusing. It was like he was already fighting a battle in his mind between what was right and what was wrong. He believed in principals and the possibility of trying to live up to them while also recognizing that it was too much to expect from anyone. He had times when he became unable too be clear in his own mind why he was doing what he was doing. When he was honest with himself, he had no idea why his inner self kept pushing him in the direction of doing the right thing in helping his Country.

Jon Krakauer supplies a lot of data on the enlisting process, boot camp, military procedures and protocols. Plus, the hardships these men and women go through being away from family and friends, learning to obey and follow strict orders, and going days without food, water or sleep. When Pat Tillman finally got to Afghanistan and later got into combat he found out it was a brand new kind of life over there. He started out on small maneuvers but after some time he and his troop moved up the line to places in the war zone. He didn’t care for some of the orders they were given but he followed through.

The day in question was the day his superior divided the men into two platoons, one going to check on a village and the other taking a broken down military vehicle in a different direction, to a pave road to be air lifted by a helicopter. Then the men were to turn around and meet back at the village. Then they got into a place called ambush alley and Tillman and another soldier got caught up in a friendly fire (shot at by your own people) and they tried to get their attention but they failed and were killed by Americans.

This was not unusual because it does happen, not frequently, but mistakes are made. What the problem was, are people in the defense department in USA tried to cover the incidence up. That was the sad part where our men fight for our country and the truth of how they died was shadowed over with promotions, medals and signed documents to their love ones that they died heroes. Jon Krakauer didn’t hold anything back when he wrote this book. He allowed his readers to hear the truth and who was behind the cover-up. Why do governments around the world think they have a right to hold back information and then years later we hear about all the discrepancy that goes on behind our backs? The only thing the superiors in command do is make our country look dishonest and hinder our freedom…..Governments do keep investigating issues and they repeatedly try to cover up any discrepancies that would make them look bad….

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  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Noted nonfiction author Krakauer turns his microscope and talents to the Pat Tillman story: acclaimed AZ State and AZ Cardinals football player who enlisted in the Iraqi War and was subsequently killed by friendly fire. The Pentagon and Bush Administration attempted to cover up the details of his death and use it for political gain. While never an easy read (one reviewer called the coverup "nauseating") and Tillman himself is, at times, a hard person to like with his anger issues and over-confidence, this is a powerful tale well told. ( )
  mjspear | Jan 21, 2016 |
Yes, "Where Men Win Glory" has the typical flaws of any Krakauer novel, including bias and sensationalism. Corporal Pat Tillman was adamant upon enlisting in allowing the media and political machine to exploit his decision to join the military, so there remains the nagging sense that this book disservices the spirit of Tillman himself.

So yes, there are problems, but I freely admit that is the first non-fiction text to render me to tears of frustration, genuine sadness and disillusionment. Given the systemic institutional cover-up of Tillman's death, from the White House to the Pentagon and CENTCOM, perhaps Krakauer's bias is a necessary device. Through both the government's and Krakauer's accounts, the reader is tasked with ascertaining the truth of the tragedy, and free to do so on their own terms, which I believe to be critical.

Further, Krakauer's narrative is beyond compelling, which makes the historical context and abstract politics of Afghanistan, Pakistan and FATA concrete and navigable to the lay reader. Which is not to say that Tillman's legacy, in and of itself, it is not a compelling read, but together, Tillman's experiences and the historical backdrop provides a "perfect storm" of information for the reader. ( )
  Casey_Marie | Apr 27, 2015 |
Excellent book, excellent narrator... intricate story. Hard to grasp occasionally but Krakauer did an excellent job explaining some of the inexplicable events in Pat Tillman's military experience. ( )
  marshapetry | Apr 7, 2015 |
We will never really know why Pat Tillman resigned from the NFL and joined the military, only to be killed by so-called friendly fire. Krakauer at least clearly describes the on-the-ground events and confusion that lead to Tillman's death. Krakauer does not do so well in assigning blame, if blame is to be assigned. War is always messy. Politicians are always lying. The military is always trying to save face. The middle east seems hopeless. And young men don't always make good decisions. ( )
  exfed | Aug 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Mr. Krakauer cobbled together his book in a spirit of desperation. Though he set out in search of Mr. Tillman’s whole story, he didn’t find what he was looking for.
There is a master’s hand evident in this particular depiction of events in a life that will end too soon, meticulously built of pieces carefully chiseled from recent international history, political intrigue, first-hand reporting, thoughtful reading, and a feel for what is most human. The author, like his subject, purposefully strides out on his great battlefield too.
Those who have spent time in the military and have seen it struggle not just with war but with everyday barracks life tend to err on the side of incompetence, while those who never have -- such as Krakauer -- tend to suspect conspiracy.
The best-selling author Jon Krakauer has now told the full story in “Where Men Win Glory.” The combination of Krakauer and Tillman seems hard to resist: Krakauer is a masterly writer and reporter; “Into Thin Air,” his account of a disastrous climbing expedition on Mount Everest, is as riveting and harrowing a book as I’ve ever read. With Tillman, you would think he’d have all he needed to fashion an epic narrative. Unfortunately, he fails to pull it off.
Krakauer -- whose forensic studies of the Emersonian Man in books such as "Into Thin Air" and 'Into the Wild" yield so much insight -- has turned in a beautiful bit of reporting, documenting Tillman's life with journals and interviews with those close to him.
added by Shortride | editLos Angeles Times, Dan Neil (Sep 11, 2009)
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Who among mortal men are you, good friend? Since never before have I seen you in fighting where men win glory, yet now you have come striding far out in front of all others in your great heart . . .
- Homer, The Iliad
For Linda; and in memory of Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, killed in action on June 21, 2006, near Gowardesh, Afghanistan
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If David Uthlaut was still angry when the convoy finally rolled out of Magarah, Afghanistan, the young lieutenant kept his emotions hidden from the forty-four Army Rangers under his command.
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Irrepressible individualist and iconoclast Pat Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract in May 2002 to enlist in the United States Army. Deeply troubled by 9/11, 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 Afghanistan. Though obvious to most 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 family and the American public for five weeks following his death, while President Bush repeatedly invoked Tillman's name to promote his administration's foreign policy. Biographer Krakauer draws on his journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research in Afghanistan to render this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death.--From publisher description.… (more)

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