Saturday, September 25, 2010

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

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat TillmanWhere Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


You know the general outlines of the Pat Tillman story, right? A football player who gave it up to enlist in the Rangers after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan and the army then covered it up.



What I didn't know was how bad it was. In fact, the Army, from the men involved in the fratricide right up through the chain of command, knew from the minute it happened (or maybe five minutes later) that the cause of Tillman's death was friendly fire. They knew, they covered it up, they ordered the soldiers on the ground not to say anything to anyone about it, they lied to Tillman's family and to the American people, and they destroyed evidence, including tape recordings and Tillman's uniform, to do it.



In Where Men Win Glory Jon Krakauer surveys the life and football career of Pat Tillman, traces his decision to enter the military and his life in the Army, and exposes the military coverup of the circumstances of Tillman's death. He also profiles some of the facts about Tillman and his intellectual life you might not be aware of, like his opposition to the war in Iraq, his refusal to participate in flag-waving publicity stunts, and his atheism, which extended to explicit directions that there be no religious devotion at his military memorial ceremony. As someone who has absolutely no interest in football, I could have lived with a lot less detail about the games, and who made what tackle or interception or touchdown, but I could understand why Krakauer felt the need to include it.



What else does Krakauer cover? Bush administration lies about other incidents, such as the famous capture of Jessica Lynch and the Army's "daring rescue" from a hospital.



The reader also learns facts about friendly fire that were surprising to me:

"According to the most comprehensive survey of American war casualties (both fatal and nonfatal), 21 percent of the casualties in World War II were attributable to friendly fire, 39 percent of the casualties in Vietnam, and 52 percent of the casualties in the first [sic] Gulf War. Thus far, in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, casualty rates are 41 percent and 13 percent, respectively. . . . [D]ue to endemic underreporting of fratricide by the military, the actual percentages are unquestionably higher."



Where Men Win Glory is definitely worth reading.



View all my reviews

Labels: , , , , , ,

5 Comments:

Blogger Howard Towt said...

Mr. McCullough:

I would be interested in your take on a similar review I did of Mr. Krakauer's book last year. For a work of non-fiction, I think his "facts" on friendly fire are distorted. See if your review of the Brookings data leads to a similar conclusion.

If you have better data, please let me know and I'll post it at anti-republicanculture.com.

September 27, 2010 7:39 PM  
Blogger Jack McCullough said...

Thanks for the information.

I didn't jump into the ancient discussion on your blog, but I'd be curious if Krakauer has ever responded to your claims.

I also note that there is really no attempt to refute Krakauer's central thesis: that Tillman was the victim of fratricide and the Bush administration lied and covered it up as long as it could possibly do so.

October 02, 2010 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jack McCullough said...

Oops--I should have said more.

There is also no question that the Bush administration lied about the Jessica Lynch incident, and that it did everything it could to make political hay of these twin tragedies.

October 02, 2010 12:13 PM  
Blogger Lin Huang said...

gucci outlet
lululemon
coach outlet
abercrombie & fitch
true religion outlet
jordan 11 low
michael kors
abercrombie fitch
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet online
insanity workout
oakley sunglasses outlet
soccer jerseys
ralph lauren outlet
michael kors watches
pandora jewelry
oakley vault
fitflops
pandora charms
ralph lauren
abercrombie kids
true religion
jordan 6 cigar
gucci handbags
louis vuitton handbags
air max 2015
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
lebron james shoes 2015
dior handbags
cheap jordans
michael kors outlet online
pandora charms
celine outlet
jordan 11
coco chanel
coach factory outlet
jordan retro
louis vuitton uk
michael kors bag
caihuanglin20150617

June 17, 2015 2:02 AM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...


zhengjx20160718
jordan retro 11
louis vuitton handbags
jordan shoes
coach outlet
designer handbags
coach outlet canada
air force 1 trainers
louis vuitton outlet
toms shoes
nfl jerseys
oakley vault
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton purses
coach outlet
juicy couture
kate spade
cheap air jordans
louis vuitton bags
jordan concords
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors canada outlet
cheap basketball shoes
louis vuitton bags
concords 11
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton outlet stores
hermes bags
kobe 8
gucci outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
gucci outlet
polo ralph lauren
cheap ray ban sunglasses
kate spade outlet
ralph lauren outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
nike uk

July 18, 2016 3:54 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home