Wow. Classic Krakaur: thoroughly researched and powerfully written. Recommend.
This is a really informative and compelling book with a serious shortcoming. Krakauer fails to delve deeply enough into how the mainstream media and politicians of both parties colluded in making sure no one was really held accountable for the failures that contributed to Pat Tillman's death nor was anyone seriously held accountable for the lies and coverup in the aftermath. A case in point is erstwhile media and DC/Obama darling Stanley McChrystal, who was in Tillman's direct chain-of-command (as Krakauer failed to show in the first edition of his book).
WHERE MEN WIN GLORY is not a bad book, but it is definitely not a Krakauer blockbuster like INTO THE WILD and INTO THIN AIR. Its flaw is that it is several different narratives that never get knit together. You have the back story of football star and thinking man Pat Tillman, which is compelling; then you have an in-depth treatment of the big fratricidal incident in Nasiriyah during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 the year prior to Tillman's death; then you have the in-depth description of the Army Ranger friendly-fire incident that killed Tillman in Afghanistan; then you have an account of the Army's and the Bush administration's cover-up of the Tillman fratricide and the efforts of Tillman's mother Dannie to have the government investigate itself; and finally you have krakauer's concluding comments on the doomed nature of the U.S./NATO presence in Afghanistan. The best part of the book is reading about Pat Tillman. He was a neat guy, a real person, an honest man. Krakauer is particularly effective when he describes Tillman's rapid disillusionment with the military during basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. As Tillman wrote in his journal: "I am not a negative man, I do not want to report bad, I want to rise above and bring everyone with me. However, this fucking place blows . . . period." Krakauer hits the right note at the end. Afghanistan is not a conflict that the United States will ever win. Tillman's head was blown off in Khost Province by a brother Ranger operating a squad automatic weapon. Close by, over the Zero Line, a.k.a., Durand Line, is North Waziristan, home to Bin Laden crony and ISI asset Jalaluddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network. The United States is fighting a creation of its allies, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It is all a crazy murderous game that mangles and discards the lives of young people. I doubt the ongoing Pakistani campaign in North Waziristan is anything more than a perfunctory performance of political theater.
I feel as though Krakauer may be glorifying the life of his subject a bit, but even so Tillman was an admirable man and I'm glad to have been given a fuller picture of his life and the circumstances surrounding his death.
Insightful biography about NFL player Pat Tillman and the circumstances of his death in Afghanistan. I found some sections a bit repetitive.
Inspiring and heartbreaking. An amazing true story that everyone should read.
This is the third book I've read by this incredibly talented author. It tells the story of how a truly good person did what he thought was right; Pat Tillman is inspirational. However, the larger story is how Americans are manipulated and lied to so that there is support for political decisions that have nothing to do with what people are told. What we are told by our leaders has nothing to do with reality. Although we may think we understand the movitation for military actions in Iraq and Afganistan, we are fed a constant stream of lies and propoganda. If you don't believe me, you owe it to yourself to read this excellent book.
Excellent biography of Pat Tillman. I was living in Phoenix at the time Pat was killed, and he was heavily mourned by the community there. Then I moved to the Bay Area a few years later, where I learned he was quite a public figure as well. I wanted to find out more about him. Jon Kraukauer (author of Into the Wild) tells an excellent story of an iconoclast who felt driven by his ideals and values and never backed down from a challenge. He also showed what really happened behind the friendly fire incidents of both Tillman and Jessica Lynch. A sad ending to an extraordinary life; definitely worth the time, and well told.
One of the best books I have read. Thoroughly researched, insightful, unbiased, great story telling, well organized.
Detailed and insightful look into the Afghanistan war complications. Krakauer (as usual) shows his engrossing writing skills...although he seems to have a "bone-to-pick" with the Bush administration. Great book.
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