The Unforgiving Minute - Book Review`

The Unforgiving Minute, by Craig Mullaney was a recommendation by Al Mohler several months ago as good summer reading. So, I gave it to my father-in-law for his birthday in hopes that I could steal it from him during a visit.

Before we left on vacation a couple of weeks ago, he suggested I take the book, which kept me from having to sear my conscience to steal the book. Maybe he had seen me plotting my getaway.

"The Unforgiving Minute" describes Craig Mullaney's life beginning with an education at West Point and in Army Ranger school, through Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, to the battlefield as a platoon leader in Afghanistan.

Mullaney is a brilliant writer, deep thinker, and great story teller. He has an uncanny ability to help the writer grow as a leader alongside him as he writes about his life-education on several different fronts. From debating philosophy in a pub near Oxford University to the private dealings of a young adult man who watched as his father abandoned his family, Mullaney is able to take the reader inside his head to struggle alongside him. Only a few years removed from the combat zone in Afghanistan, Mullaney is able to see events and circumstances with an astounding amount of clarity.

Mullaney has a much different worldview from mine and some of that shows up throughout the book. He has lived through vastly different experiences than I have. Yet throughout the book, I couldn't help feel a common bond with him.

I had a hard time putting this book down. Something about it compelled me to keep reading, as if putting the book down would let Mullaney and his men down. I wanted to find resolution. It came, but not completely. In many ways, Mullaney's story won't be fully resolved either. He doesn't lead you to believe that it has been.

In the interest of full disclosure: if your ears are prone to bleeding in the presence of foul language, you might want to skip this book. Mullaney describes the battlefield and the language of soldiers pretty graphically. Otherwise, this book gets a strong recommendation from me.