The Unforgiving Minute
Craig Mullaney. New York: Penguin Press, 2009. Maps. Author's Note. $27.95.
Reviewed by John T. Kuehn
Former Army officer Craig M. Mullaney's memoir is a journey of discovery that leads from West Point to "a forgotten corner" of Afghanistan. What sets it apart from other strictly military memoirs is its intensely personal tone.
There is a saying that one's life does not make sense until one looks back on it. Then it resembles a unique story with major themes and even a sort of logic to it. One gets the feeling that Mullaney does not see, as others do, the clear promise that he holds, including Soldier-scholars John Nagl and Paul Yingling and the Rhodes' Scholar Selection Committee. Mullaney gives the impression of military life as a sort of checklist: West Point, airborne school, Rhodes Scholar, Ranger Tab, infantry platoon leader, and later teacher of history—yet throughout he constantly questions himself and his motives.