There are certain authors whose touch is Midas-golden and after just four books, Jon Krakauer is undoubtedly one of them. Into the Wild, Eiger Dreams, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven...all are among the most popular non-fiction titles we've seen in the Darien Library over the past decade or so.
Krakauer's new book continues a theme from his previous books: lives lived outside the margins and how man's thirst for adventure and fulfillment can exact a terrible price. Where Men Win Glory is the story of Pat Tillman, the football player-turned-soldier who was killed in Afghanistan under circumstances termed "friendly fire." In the course of writing this book, Jon Krakauer was embedded with American troops in Afghanistan and actually put the project aside for nearly a year because of the complications and contradictions that kept muddying the waters.
Within the circles of honor, deception, outrage, pride, and sorrow stands the lone figure of Pat Tillman himself, a Renaissance man who read Emerson, Thoreau, the great philosophers and religious texts, turned down a multi-million dollar NFL contract to serve his country as an Army Ranger, and died with a copy of Krakauer's own Eiger Dreams in his rucksack. As he's done previously, Krakauer takes the conflicts within Tillman's story to raise larger questions, brings a unique and tragic life into the open, and gives it the time and space it deserves. Where Men Win Glory is a legacy worthy of Pat Tillman's short but important life.