Consider these talking points from LitLovers to help get a discussion started for Where Men Win Glory:
1. Pat Tillman was a complex figure. Talk about the kind of man he was. What were the personal qualities that led him to forego a life of wealth and put his life on the line in the U.S. military? Where some of those traits evident in his childhood? If so, which ones?
2. Describe his sense of moral obligation after 9/11. Why did he feel it was vital to take part, personally, in the fight against Al Quaeda and the Taliban?
3. Tillman was first sent to Iraq. What were his feelings about that war?
4. What did Tillman reveal both about himself and the war in his journal and letters back home?
5. What, if anything, did you learn from Krakauer’s book about Iraq and Afghanistan? Did you find his diversions about those countries, their history and politics, enlightening? Or did you feel they dragged down the pace of the overall narrative?
6. Talk about the way in which Tillman lost his life, the series of events—as well as the errors and misjudgments made by those far from the line of fire—that led to the tragedy. How common is friendly fire?
7. How did military commanders and politicians make use of Tillman’s death? What were they hoping to achieve…or avoid? How was the cover-up promulgated…and what led to its eventual unraveling?
8. What were Tillman’s own suspicions about the possibility of becoming a poster boy should he die in battle?
9. What was your experience reading this book? Were your emotions charged as you worked your way through the story? If so, in what ways?
10. Despite the manner of Tillman’s death, can he still be considered an American hero? Is everyone who dies in the line of duty a hero? Or is “hero” a designation we hold in reserve for special circumstances?