Jon Krakauer's Pat Tillman Book


SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
Jon Krakauer was scheduled to release a book about Pat Tillman this fall. He's withdrawn it so it probably won't appear until next year. Krakauer wrote Into Thin Air about the 1996 disaster on Mt. Everest and Into the Wild which was recently made into a movie by Sean Penn.

Personally, I like Krakauer's work so I'm interested to see what he'll do.
That's going to be a tough book to write, and is bound to cause controversey at some level.

Krakauer is usually pretty honest in what he writes, and at some point he's going to have to go into the circumstances surrounding Pat's death. It's still a pretty sore subject, especially with his family.
Agreed with regards to the author.

Him or Mark Bowden both would've done OK with this I'd guess.

I look forward to reading it.

I wonder how much access he had to the Military, the Tillman family, Pentagon etc... ?
I read somewhere that Krakauer was interviewing the family and actually was given access to some of Pat's writings like letters home or a journal (I've forgotten what the medium was).

One thing about Krakauer, he is honest to a fault. He'll present both sides of a story and then tell you what he believes. He did it in his two previous best sellers. He also waxes philisophically about things and people's actions and motives.

I'd much rather see him write this story than that clown Bowden. I think if anyone can give Pat the respect he deserves Krakauer is it.
Bowden's Blackhawk Down was poorly researched IMO. He relied heavily on the reflections of one of the Delta guys and discounted the differing views of other parties. Some of the Rangers involved elected to publish their own book about TFR to dispel some of the rumors and misconceptions. Having finished that book Bowden found himself as the expert on all things Delta and it shows in his writings.

I do think he was much improved with Guests of the Ayatollah, but I don't see Bowden being as objective as Krakauer.
To be fair I'm an equal opportunity asshole and I believe that right or wrong historical events should be viewed from both sides. You short change the participants and you cause them an injustice and at a minimum there is damage to your personal and professional integrity. A benign setting such as a movie will cause 2 or more people to have different memories over what is said or done, imagine a 360 combat situation dragging on for about 18 hours with no food or water, your friends dying, multiple units involved.....

I would be as critical of Bowden's presentation if it came from a Ranger or PJ or 10th Mountain soldier. I can't speak for Bowden's motives or reasonings as to why his version and the Ranger's versions differ. Bowden even alluded to this in his book, but it was brief and most people would miss it or forget it.

What is interesting to me is that BHD was not Bowden's first book, it was his second and he hs since cranked out about 1 non-fiction book per year. His 3 best sellers though, for whatever reasons, all feature Delta in them.

In the end my criticism stems from the fact that he wasn't as balanced as he could be, should be, in telling TFR's story. You could write a hundrd books on the subject now and they will all be judged against Bowden's work. Our 18 dead (19 counting the later mortar attack) deserve better IMO.
The book is out.

I'm not much of a legitimate source as i cannot compare with the men in this book, however i just got done reading this book last night.

A civilians opinion:
I thought it was well written. I found the details of the "cover up" to be extremely disturbing in terms of ignored regulations, etc. Perhaps the author did not understand the psychological effects of men under fire, i couldn't judge that.

The thing i enjoyed most about this book was just learning about the guy. Regardless of the cover up and friendly fire, Tillman seemed like an amazing guy. The first 3/4's of the book is essentially a biography of him, though it alternates between A-stan and his personal life.