The latest spin on the intense life and controversial death of Pat Tillman comes from author Jon Krakauer in the new book “Where Men Win Glory” ($27.95, Doubleday, 383 pages), released to stores Tuesday.
Krakauer, whose 1996 book “Into Thin Air” chronicled the tragic events of a miscalculated Mount Everest climb and assigned all kinds of blame for what went wrong, tries to do the same as he blitzes what happened before and after the former Arizona Cardinals safety was killed in duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan in 2004.
The government’s misrepresentation of the events that caused his death — the result of taking a hit from his own troop during a battle with Taliban insurgents – inspired a tribute book five years ago from his mother, Mary (“Boots On The Ground by Dusk”).
With that information and more reporting, Krakauer tries to tie everything together. Yet explaining the “real” Tillman is never an easy task, as former Kansas City Star sports columnist Jonathan Rand discovered in his book on Tillman called “Fields Of Honor” in ’04.
As complete as Krakauer tries to be, a recent New York Times review of the book complains that the book’s “biggest problem” is that nearly all the drama is “saved for the last hundred pages.”
We’ll take it. And we can handle the truth.
By the way: The Tillman family told Krakauer that his 1997 book on extreme mountain climbing, “Eiger Dreams,” was found in Tillman’s backpack when he was killed, but Krakauer didn’t include that fact in this book because he said “it seemed self-serving and didn’t really add anything.”
It adds a lot to us. It reinforces why Tillman’s story should be told by Krakauer.