Where Men Win Glory

Where Men Win Glory

[the Odyssey of Pat Tillman]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2009 | Unabridged ed
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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.
Publisher: Westminster, Md. : Books on Tape, p2009
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9781415956755


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An utterly incredible book. Krakauer is one of America's best investigative writers. This story deserves to be told and retold. Incompetence and coverup all around. I feel so sorry for Tillman's family and his significant other.

Sep 17, 2016

As stated in the title, this is the odyssey of Pat Tillman, from athletic boy through high school, college, NFL, and into the army as an enlisted ranger. I've always wondered about his decision to leave the NFL for the army after 9/11, trying to imagine what kind of person he would be, but I probably wouldn't have read this if it hadn't be recommended to me. I'm glad I did.

First of all, it ends out that Pat Tillman is a surprising and fascinating person, not just an NFL star. (I'll leave the details up to you future readers.) Secondly, the tale is very well told and researched. Maybe most importantly, I learned about the rise of bin-Laden and Al-Quaeda and about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All this was done in a way that wasn't dry or overwhelming; the story of terrorism is told chronologically alongside the always interesting story of Pat Tillman and his family. Of course, if you're looking for a book with a happy ending, this isn't it.

I'm rating this 4.5, taking off a half point because I got rather bogged down with names involved in the cover-up of the friendly fire investigation.

Incidentally, I listened to most of this, but switched to reading when I got to Tillman's final mission in Afghanistan. I definitely recommend taking advantage of the maps in the book at that point, but the narrator was excellent.

Booktraveler Jun 18, 2011

Pat Tilman's story is very interesting and you really get a feal for him as a person, his personality and character. I was surprised to find that he had reservations about US involvment in the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. The author in several places refers to the book "Boots on the Ground" written by Pat's Mother - I plan to read ths one as well.

Feb 22, 2011

An amazing telling of Pat Tillman's tragic story made all the more moving because he kept a journal of very soulful observations on the Army and the problems in the Middle East.


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