The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education (Audiobook)
By Craig M Mullaney
Publisher: Tantor Media | 2009-04-01 | ISBN: 1400111560 | MP3 | 137 MB
A West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, and Army Ranger recounts his unparalleled education in the art of war and reckons with the hard wisdom that only battle itself can bestow.
Summary: E to the 4th
Eloquent, engaging, enchanting, emotional. So much for my "e"literation of this powerful and compelling personal memoir. It takes its title from Chapter 29, page 279; a title which attracted me to place it on hold at my library several months ago. So after several months of patiently waiting it arrives and I am initially disappointed. I am going to have to wade through a personal narrative starting at Plebe Summer West Point. Been there, done that. However, once starting I quickly realize that this initial third and longest part of the book labeled "Student" is easily the best part of the book. The second part "Soldier" is superb. This is not so much a book about combat but a book about life and how to live it with passion and zest and to treasure it. Conflict and coping with it or resolving it not only on a geo-political/tactical scale but on a personal level with peers, seniors, family, and subordinates is a constant theme. I almost feel like a member of Craig's family after reading this. He communicates an intimacy and honesty but still manages to keep some secrets like all of us. I'll be buying this book and recommending it to patrons at my library. It's easily in my top ten for military memoirs.
Summary: This was a great book!
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Mullaney's book. He took an interesting approach in the sense of focusing on many of his experiences at West Point, Oxford, and the Army's various training programs (Ranger School, Airborne, etc.) along with combat in Afghanistan. This book is definitely worth reading!
Summary: Valuable Insight into the Life and Journey of a Soldier
I saw the author Craig Mullaney give an interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and was intrigued by his memoir of the his journey as a West Point officer, Oxford scholar, and, eventually, Captain of an infantry platoon. Upon reading the memoir, I was educated both of his trials and tribulation borne on the battlefield and in the heart. Unexpectedly, this gave me an understanding of the "intestinal fortitude" it takes for those choosing to volunteer to serve as comrades in arms in a time of war, which includes my own soldier, who was deployed to Afghanistan a month after I read the book.
Summary: Interesting but flawed
Generally this was a very interesting book about military life. Mullaney's descriptions of his experiences at West Point, Ranger School, and in Afghanistan are great. Unfortunately, the book also includes a rather long, drawn out section dealing with the author's experiences at Oxford, including the wooing of his wife, which are not all that interesting. One fascinating question is, what drives people like Mullaney to become such overachievers? In Mullaney's case, it seems to have much to do with gaining the approval of his father. In any event, I recommend this book for anyone considering going into a military academy or pursuing a career in the military.
Summary: More 'Soldier's Education'
An interesting memoir - but less about the 'Unforgiving Minute' than about his 'Soldier's Education'. Great detail about his West Point and Oxford days, his training at Ranger school, and his budding relationship with his future wife - followed by a cursory overview of his tour in Afghanistan, and rather obscure lessons learned. Mullaney shares his difficulty with losing two soldiers, but reveals little of the details of the engagements where they died, what went wrong, how he could have done anything differently, or why he tortures himself. Perhaps the details are still too personal, or maybe he wants us to experience the same fog of war that he did - but the hub of his life is the Unforgiving Minute, and in the book it passes meekly.
Ultimately he realizes the reality of the paucity of control any individual can impose on the chaos of combat and moves beyond his guilt, and we are glad to see him at peace. Thanks for a good read Captain, hope to hear more from you in the future.
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