Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” as Want to Read:
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  32,963 ratings  ·  3,022 reviews
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
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Doubleday Books (first published September 15th 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where Men Win Glory, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where Men Win Glory

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,963 ratings  ·  3,022 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
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
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
“Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle, would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal, so neither would I myself go on fighting in the foremost nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory. But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands, no man can turn aside nor escape them, let us go on and win glory for ourselves, or yield it to others.”
- Homer, The Iliad (Richard Lattimore translation)

American professional football is an extrem
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
Diane S ☔
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nfr-2020
Finished last night, and to say I found this book disturbing is an understatement. Lies, and more lies from begining to end. I'm not a naive person, and I realize that there are many things the government keeps from the public despite politicians consistent vows of transparency. An election that should never have been won, aided by our own Supreme court, to a war that should never have been, aided by manipulations of epic proportions, to the suffering of Tillman's family and the extensive cover ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is another totally absorbing book by Jon Krakauer. I read Missoula before and couldn't put it down and the same was the case with this one. I didn't know much about Pat Tillman, but Krakauer made him seem a fleshed out, multi-dimensional man and is story all the more tragic for it. Truly a moving, engaging read and one I certainly recommend!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at
La Petite Américaine Cash App: $Covid2020sucks
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
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
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Valerity (Val)
An excellent look at the life and sad, premature death of Pat Tillman, former NFL player who gave up a career playing football to enlist in the military. His brother he was so close to also followed him into danger after feeling like they needed to be doing more in the era of post 9/11.

Knowing what happens to Tillman it's difficult to keep reading, but knowing the kind of writing that Krakauer is known for producing, one just keeps going, sure that the read will make it worth getting through in
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John Krakauer has published six book-length works of non-fiction. He is most widely known for his reporting on the climbing tragedy that occurred on Mt Everest in 1996 that became the book Into Thin Air. It is widely considered the best book on mountaineering ever written.

This book — Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman — was published in 2009 several years after Tillman’s death by friendly fire in 2004. It was published with the cooperation of Tillman’s wife Marie and it is a tear-j
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Paul Eckert
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 24, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jan 22, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Alex Black
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I want to start by saying that I don't think this book is any less well done than any of Krakauer's other work (that I have read so far). My lower rating is personal taste and not a comment on the quality of this book. Krakauer is a wonderful nonfiction writer, a great researcher. He does a fantastic job of explaining difficult concepts to the layperson.

But going in, I expected this book to be more about Tillman's death and the government cover up. That seemed to be what the synopsis implied and
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really like Krakauer, and he is an excellent, thorough, chronicle storyteller. If you enjoy Krakauer and his style of writing, you should pick this up. You'll enjoy it, as I did.

I enjoyed both the story of Tillman (and by extension, a part and parcel analysis of the military's role in his death) with the modern history of Afghanistan - a history with which I was previously unaware. As a separate story, the modern history of the Middle East is fascinating, but this history doesn't really have m
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Joseph Stieb
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: af-pak
Jon Krakauer writes so well about people who are obsessed with pushing their limits and the tragedies that often result from their drive and determination. The climbers in Into Thin Air, Chris McCandless in Into the Wild, and now Pat Tillman. It's hard to conclude that Tillman was anything but an admirable and remarkable person. Tillman was driven by an obsessive desire to better and test himself in the realms of academics, sports, life, and even random things like making risky jumps at national ...more
"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
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Krakauer is such a terrific writer. I was hesitant to read this at first because I thought I understood the "Pat Tillman" story, but I just over-simplified it. The juxtaposition of the rise of terrorism with Tillman's rise to the NFL and subsequent military service as a Ranger was intricately woven. Like a great musician, Krakauer just has a feel for narrative. I always know it's a great read when I just close the book and then about twenty minutes later start to move again. ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2nd Period Langua...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Nick's first book 2 4 Feb 12, 2014 11:07AM  
Mansfield Public ...: Where Men Win Glory Review by Shelby Fuerst 1 7 Aug 02, 2013 10:21AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman
  • Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission
  • War
  • The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life
  • Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
  • In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
  • None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism
  • More Than Love, A Husband's Tale
  • Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever
  • Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
  • One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
  • El Narco
  • My Father's Keeper: Children of Nazi Leaders-An Intimate History of Damage and Denial
  • Jarhead : A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles
  • Fire Mountains of the West: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes
See similar books…
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

Related Articles

Even nonfiction can hold the stuff of nightmares. Whether it’s natural disasters, outbreaks of plague, or serial killers hidden...
99 likes · 61 comments
“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.” 17 likes
“Many decisions are made in our lifetime, Most relatively insignificant while others life altering” 10 likes
More quotes…