The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education

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Penguin, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 386 pages
16 Reviews

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

One haunting afternoon on Losano Ridge in Afghanistan, Captain Craig Mullaney and his platoon were caught in a deadly firefight with Al Qaeda fighters when a message came over the radio- one of his soldiers had been killed in action.

Mullaney's education had been relentlessly preparing him for this moment. The four years he spent at West Point and the harrowing test of Ranger School readied him for a career in the Army. His subsequent experience as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford couldn't have been further from the Army and his working class roots, and yet the unorthodox education he received there would be surprisingly relevant as a combat leader. Years later, after that unforgettable experience in Afghanistan, he would return to the United States to teach history to future Navy and Marine Corps officers at the Naval Academy. He had been in their position once, and he had put his education to the test. How would he use his own life-changing experience prepare them?

The Unforgiving Minuteis the extraordinary story of one soldier's singular education. From a hilarious plebe's-eye view of the author's West Point experience to the demanding leadership crucible of Ranger School's swamps and mountains, to a two-year whirlwind of scintillating debate, pub crawls, and romance at Oxford, Mullaney's winding path to the battlegrounds of Afghanistan was unique and remarkable. Despite all his preparation, the hardest questions remained. When the call came to lead his platoon into battle and earn his soldiers' salutes, would he be ready? Was his education sufficient for the unforgiving minutes he'd face? A fascinating account of an Army captain's unusual path through some of the most legendary seats of learning straight into a brutal fight with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, The Unforgiving Minuteis, above all, an unforgettable portrait of a young soldier grappling with the weight of his hard-earned knowledge while coming to grips with becoming a man.

 

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Review: The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education

User Review  - Robert Thorson - Goodreads

How sad. Such bravado for a lost cause. A fascinating case history of a typical minute of the sort that is bankrupting our nation. And now he's advising the Pentagon. Read full review

Review: The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education

User Review  - John - Goodreads

Would be a better book if the author's self-love wasn't so obvious. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

David Dyergrew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him.

David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midni

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