An exploration of the life and death of football star and US Army enlistee Pat Tillman.
Many Americans who watched the 9/11 attacks from afar insisted their lives would never be the same after that day, that they could never go back to the way things were before Al Qaeda killed 3,000 people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Few, if any, lived up to that vow with the conviction of Pat Tillman.
An outstanding defensive back on a lousy NFL team, in 2002 Tillman chose enlistment in the US Army over a $3.6 million contract. He became an Army ranger with his brother, Kevin. They saw limited action in Iraq and later went to Afghanistan.
It was in remote Khost Province, near the Pakistani border, where Pat Tillman died in April 2004, the victim of friendly fire. Those details alone would make Tillman’s story ideal for Jon Krakauer, whose nonfiction bestsellers include “Into the Wild” and “Into Thin Air.” What happened after Tillman’s death, combined with a soldier’s story that is at once unique and universal, provides a perfect foundation for exploring the response of the United States to 9/11. Add Tillman’s rugged intellectual curiosity and independence, as well as his penchant for testing the outer limits of his physical endurance, and you have the perfect protagonist.
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