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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat…

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Jon Krakauer

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Title:Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Authors:Jon Krakauer
Info:Anchor (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading, Read but unowned

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

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    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: It's not a war story, but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is another very compelling, well-written story centered on a family seeking the truth about what happened to a loved one.

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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 |
A tough book to get through. Certainly paints a negative picture of the culture of the Army and of our government, that something like this could not only happen but then be manipulated to try and make politicians look good. It was a hard book to get through. ( )
  librarymary09 | May 24, 2014 |
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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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