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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  22,835 Ratings  ·  2,528 Reviews
This edition has been updated to reflect new developments and includes new material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to join the Army and became an icon of post-9/11 patriotism. When he was killed in Afghanistan two years later, a legend was born. But the real Pat Tillman was much more remarkabl
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Anchor (first published September 15th 2008)
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Dec 04, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm active duty military and can partly--partly--understand why Pat Tillman turned down a 3.6 million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals, and, instead, enlisted in the Army as a grunt for $1200 per month. I use money as the central metric of Tillman's decision because it's the one most non-active duty military readers will misunderstand. I'll try to explain his decision from our (military) perspective.

Let me start by saying I would not have made the same financial decision, despite the
The back cover of my book reads, “Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to join the army and became an icon of post 9/11 patriotism. When he was killed in Afghanistan two years later, he became a tool for White House propaganda. Thus a legend was born…”

Throughout the book, Krakauer makes multiple references to how Pat Tillman didn’t grant interviews after enlisting, or how he didn’t want, “them to parade me through the streets” to advance a political agenda. I’m not exc
La Petite Américaine
I wanted a biography of Pat Tillman, not a scathing critique of the Bush administration. While the actions of George W. Bush and his staff regarding the events surrounding Tillman's death are totally relevant to the story, here Krakauer abandons his usual objectivity and jumps head-first into an attack on Bush that leaves the author sounding like nothing more than a pissed-off liberal Seattle-ite. (And I can say that because was a pissed off liberal Seattle-ite.) Ugh. Go cry into your cappuccino ...more
Will Byrnes
Pat Tillman was a top-notch safety with the Phoenix Cardinals of the NFL. He was an incredibly intense guy, always looking to challenge himself, to push himself past his limits. But he also had a sensitive, emotional side and an intellectual curiosity, exceptional in his chosen profession. He came from a close-knit family that held the military in high regard and was touched deeply when the USA was attacked on and subsequently went to war following 9/11. Setting aside his lucrative football care ...more
When I first started the book, I asked myself if I liked the character of Pat Tillman. I didn't understand why I was having such a problem with him. But my problem wasn't with him, it was with Krakauer and his kiss-assery, if I may. The hero treatment was way too much for me. Although, Tillman is a hero in many people's eyes and an overall good guy, it felt like he just couldn't be any guy. He had to be "unafraid to buck the herd", "defend honor, with fists if necessary", "Tillman...virtually in ...more
As I write this, in late January, another football season is coming to an end. In another week, the Super Bowl will be played. Millions of people will tune in to watch this overblown, ceaselessly hyped pageant. Some of these people will actually care about the outcome of the game; most, however, will tune in for the commercials, even though they are, in fact, the same commercials we will strenuously attempt to avoid for the other 364 days of the year. Dozens of talking heads will attempt to expl ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Ethan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Pat Tillman, it appears, is everyone's political platform. Krakauer decries the use of Tillman's life and death for political ends, then goes on to use Tillman to preach about the evils of the Bush administration. By the end of the book, I wondered if this was more about Pat Tillman's life or Krakauer's hatred of Bush.

There's even a whole chapter about the Bush-Gore election. I'm not sure why.

Outside of the political screed, I was a little irritated by the obviousness of Krakauer's man-crush on
This is at once a biography of Pat Tillman, a history of Afghanistan, the Taliban (they originally formed to stop bandits from shaking down the populace at checkpoints) and the cover up of Tillman’s fratricide.

Having read and been very impressed with Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, I was expecting – and got— a complex story. As a non-football fan, I don’t know the difference (or if there is one) between a sack and a tackle or a fullback, a free safety and a linebacker. But who Tillman was
Feb 01, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Pat Tillman is probably already somewhat familiar to many from news headlines - he's the Arizona Cardinals player who turned down a multi-million football contract to go fight al quaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly-fire. Of course, the Bush administration, wanting to use Tillman to hype the glory of war, covered up the circumstances of his death at first, making it a bigger headline later. If the government had been truthful from the start, Tillman's name ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a book about Pat Tillman, but instead found a book that, in my opinion, used him as an excuse, or means, to simply bash the Military, Bush administration, CIA and the wars we are engaged in. I had read prior books by Mr. Krakauer and enjoyed them, but honestly, after reading this book I find myself wondering how accurate or slanted those books were, as this book definitely had an agenda to me, which was not to focus on Pat Tillman. Sure, he's talked about a lot, but it felt lik ...more
Oct 24, 2009 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I wanted from this book was an in-depth investigation into Pat Tillman's death and the ensuing cover-up by the military and our government. What I got instead was a quasi-biography of Tillman coupled with a parallel discussion of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither bothered me terribly, I guess, since I attended ASU at the same time Tillman did and was a huge fan of his from the very start, and since I voted against Bush twice. But still, be aware of the subj ...more
I'm a huge Krakauer fan, but this book was not his best work.

The transitions between Afghan military history and US involvement in that country's affairs, and more personal information about Pat Tillman
are rather awkward.

Also, as much as I can't shake a stick at a man who gives up a sweet NFL career to join the military - I found Tillman to be a somewhat irritating character for his lack of realism or maturity. I believe he could have done much more good staying here and using his status and mo
Mr. Z
"My heart goes out to those who will suffer. Whatever your politics, whatever you believe is right or wrong, the fact is most of those who will feel the wrath of this ordeal want nothing more than to live peacefully."

This isn't a book you critique. This book critiques you. When's the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and earnestly rated your patriotism? How much of the news feeds related to the Global War on Terror do you really believe? Would you leave behind a wife and a multi-mi
Paul Eckert
Jun 22, 2010 Paul Eckert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a perfect world, everyone would have their biography written by Jon Krakauer after their death, and that book could be passed down through the generations, and people would truly understand who you were, and they would learn something and be inspired by your story.

Unfortunately, we live in a less than perfect world, and if Jon Krakauer writes a book about you, then your death was untimely, tragic, and undeserved.

Where Men Win Glory is the story of Pat Tillman, the NFL football player that ga
Jan 07, 2010 Mateo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's no accident that Where Men Win Glory is framed by quotes from Homer and Aeschylus, because, make no mistake about it, this is a Greek tragedy, the story of a heroic, if flawed, human being who is played with by the gods like a fly by wanton boys. In this case the gods are the neoconservative hawks who brought the war in Iraq down upon our heads, and the book is an indictment--yes, okay, a searing indictment--of the foolishness, hubris, and evil at the root of this immoral war. It's also one ...more
Sep 21, 2009 Toby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is probably a 3.5 star book. Any other author I'd give the benefit of the doubt; given that it's Captain Swarthy himself I have to reserve a bit harsher judgment. When this book is on, it's really on. I read it in 3 sittings, swept up in a narrative I already knew the conclusion to (and hoped would turn out otherwise). The prose left me breathless, and with an overwhelming sense of righteous indignation at 6+ years of unjust war and outright lies from those perpetrating it.

But - and this b
I really enjoy Krakauer's writing, so much so that this is the fourth book written by him that I've read in the past year. I also purchased two other books (on this topic) and a documentary after reading his version of the Pat Tillman story. Thus it goes without saying that I gave this five stars.

What is the book about?

The obvious answer is Pat Tillman, the famous football player who gave up a multi-million dollar contract to enlist in the army after the September 11th attacks. Pat's story alone
Sep 06, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been finished with Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory for over a week now. But this is one of those books that stirs up emotions, ones like anger and frustration, and it took me some time to figure out what exactly I want to say.

Jon Krakauer has covered in other books a fundamentalist Mormon sect murder, the 1996 Everest disaster, and the story of an Emory University kid trying to make it in the wilds of Alaska. I read and really liked all of those books, so when I saw Where Men Win Glory o
Oct 15, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jon Krakauer is the absolute best at what he does--which is delivering unbelievable biographies about some of the most extreme challenges in human kind. This book needs to be added into every military branch's recommended reading lists.

The story of Pat Tillman fascinated me in the news from day one. When he was killed I, like everyone else, thought it was tragic and wanted to believe he went down fighting off the Taliban and defending his brothers in arms. When I was stationed at Bagram AB in A
Every book I've read by Krakauer (and I've now read all of them) has left me feeling incredibly outraged and crushed at the same time. You see so much of yourself in the protagonists he's carefully chosen to profile that you can't help but feel every ounce of emotion through his powerful prose.

Where Men Win Glory is no different. It's perhaps most similar to my favorite, Into the Wild. In both cases Krakauer brings to life stories of two young men (Chris McCandless and Pat Tillman) he's never me
Jul 10, 2011 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing that kept me from throwing this book across the room in utter disgust with how the military handles fratricide was the thought that McChystal was fired. Sure, he was fired for something totally unrelated, and probably not the most culpable in the Tillman cover-up, but it’s really the only comfort available. I also didn’t think that I could be any more disgusted by the Bush administration, but this book proved that wrong. I wasn’t interested in Pat Tillman; I read it because Krakau ...more
This is my 3rd or 4th Jon Krakauer book. I like the idea behind his books and I can appreciate the research that goes into all of them, but I'm having a tough time embracing the actual published works.

This one was a sad story which I found interesting and I think this story needs to be told. But the author diddled around along the way in his build up. I would have skimmed some parts if I was actually reading this. But I did the audio and skimming is hard to do on my mp3 player. The buttons are
C.J. English
Jan 03, 2016 C.J. English rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unforgettable. Insightful yet so sad. I learned a lot about the history and present day state of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia without being bored out of my mind from a text book.

The atrocities these people have endured at the hands of their own and the rest of the world are unforgivable. I have a new perspective, much needed in today's political culture, for our part, past and future in the Middle East.

Engaging, thought provoking read. I wish the Tillman family closure and dese
Mrs. Roy
Mar 13, 2009 Mrs. Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh. My. God. He had written another. At long last...ladies and gentlemen, guard your small children and animals on the day this one comes out (September of 2009) - the bullet flying by will be me trying to get to the book store first. Can't wait for the library on this one!
Feb 12, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read and enjoyed everything Krakauer has written, but I wasn't too thrilled by this subject. I knew little about Tillman other than the basics of the story, and I have sort of given up reading books about the Bush years because they usually just rile me up without bringing anything new to the table. My impression was that Tillman would be a jingoistic meat-head type who got caught up in an unfortunate but predictable propaganda spree. I'd urge anyone who has given this book a pass for simil ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I clearly remember the Sports Illustrated feature and cover that ran a tribute to Pat Tillman after he died and the inspiration of his life story. So when a friend recommended Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, I immediately checked it out at the library. Not only does this book focus on the man Tillman was, but on how everything was handled after his death. What I appreciated about this book was it forced you to look at how everything played out, from the history of ...more
Apr 20, 2011 Marialyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2011
There is so much to say about this travesty that was fostered on Pat Tillman and his family. To know that there are people in our military who are so devious and such cover up liars is super upsetting. Jon Krakauer paints a very depressing picture of the events that surrounded Pat Tillman's death. The fact that Pat will killed by friendly fire is horrible, but the idea that the army covered up this occurrence was awful. Soldiers are often killed by friendly fire and many of our troops are aware ...more
Sarju Shrestha Marzullo
Loved this book. I love Jon Krakauer's thought provoking, deeply researched journalistic writing style. In this book he tells the story about an amazing individual, Pat Tillman who walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army in 2002. He played safety in Arizona Cardinal. He was deeply affected by the tragic incident of 9/11. He felt the calling to fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. After two years later, he died in Afghanistan during friendly fire from ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Judd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Make no mistake, Krakauer's is a liberal work. It is not likely to change the minds of neocons or staunch supporters of Bush's policy or of the wars in the Middle East. Still, it shows such tenacity and tact in wording, that I believe that it should be read by conservatives who have over-honed their instinct to attack their enemies before an appropriate reckoning of the stakes at hand; and it should also be read by liberals who build their ideas out of resentment for the power wielded by their o ...more
Dec 12, 2010 Dayna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very skeptical of a book about football and war, but my opinion of Jon Krakauer and my enjoyment of his other books won out and I started reading. I felt like this book served as a sort of primer about Afghanistan and 9/11 and Iraq - there were chapters about the background of the region and Osama bin Laden, and especially the relationship with Pakistan, which Krakauer considers to be a huge ongoing threat to the US. There was a lot of information here that I did not know, or did not reali ...more
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  • Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman
  • War
  • Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad
  • Spoken From The Front: Real Voices From the Battlefields of Afghanistan
  • The Good Soldiers
  • The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education
  • In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan
  • The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008
  • The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life
  • The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family
  • A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon
  • Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death
  • Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
  • The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism
  • Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier's Perspective
  • One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
  • The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan
  • Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.
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“the sad end he met in Afghanistan was more accurately a function of his stubborn idealism--his insistence on trying to do the right thing. In which case it wasn't a tragic flaw that brought Tillman down, but a tragic virtue.” 14 likes
“Many decisions are made in our lifetime, Most relatively insignificant while others life altering” 7 likes
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