Friday 21 June 2013

Where Men Win Glory

When I was browsing the Amazon to look for some book to buy I found Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer. Now I have read several of his books on adventure and some on unusual topics like Mormon fundamentalism in Under the Banner of Heaven and the Three Cups of Deceit. Therefore, without going much into details I ordered the book.

When I received the book I found that it had nothing to do with mountaineering. It is about an American - Pat Tillman - who was a National Football League player when the bombings of the Twin Towers happened in 9/11 and out of idealism and patriotism leaves a very promising football career and a multi-million dollar contract to join the elite Rangers of the American Army in 2002. Just two years later though in Afghanistan he is killed in ‘friendly fire’ (when you are mistakenly killed by your own people) though the army hides the fact and makes him out to be a hero in front of the American public.

The story then takes you back to when he was born in 1972. Though till the 9/11 bombings he was not related in anyway to military but the author runs a simultaneous story of the situation developing in Afghanistan as Pat grows up at home. You come to know how the al-Qaeda, Mujaheddin and the Taliban became powerful and strong over the years and not only controlled Afghanistan but also the border areas of Pakistan as well with full support from the ISI.

The book also delved in detail about what happened to Jessica Lynch when she was moving with her convoy in Iraq and was captured and afterwards the forces rescued her. The story circulated was that she fought valiantly against the Iraqi forces which she refuted and said she never fired a single shot and was in fact knocked unconscious when her vehicle crashed. Krakauer also tells the story about the Battle of Nasiriyah in Iraq where again 18 marines were killed in friendly-fire when the American Air Force bombed its own men by mistake.

The books picks pace after Tillman reaches Afghanistan and the last part of the book is gripping. However, some of the escapades of Tillman in the earlier part of his life seemed irrelevant in the book and the book could have been more interesting with it being 100 pages shorter than the current 383 pages.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice View, Good Photography