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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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‘The Unforgiving Minute’ is book chosen for ‘Common Read’ program

Public, incoming students, area libraries invited to participate in the MSU Mankato reading program.


Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato is in its third year of a common read program, and Craig Mullaney’s “The Unforgiving Minute” has been chosen as the common read for the 2012-13 academic year.

All University learning community and honors students are being asked to read “The Unforgiving Minute” before the start of 2012-13 classes in August, and the local community is also encouraged to participate.

First-year seminar instructors are also invited to use the book in their classes, and first-year experience staff members are working with the Blue Earth County and North Mankato Taylor libraries, local bookstores and several other organizations to invite community participation.

An author visit is planned for Sept. 4, and several other events are being planned for the fall semester. All events are free and open to the public.

The goal of the common read is to create community and conversation with students, families, and the community. All students, faculty, staff, families, and community members are welcome to join in reading the book, participating in discussions, and attending events.

Area book clubs are invited and encouraged to choose the book, and a discussion guide is available online. The book could also be a conversation piece for families, whose sons and daughters may be preparing to leave home this summer. It is the hope of the common read program that the events and activities surrounding it will lead to learning from the perspectives of all who participate.

“The Unforgiving Minute,” according to its author’s website, is 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 author’s website continues, 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 Minute” is, 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.

Information about the events will be available at: or by contacting Kate Hansen, New Student and Family Programs, (507) 389-5498 or More information about the author and book are available at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

Comments from that praise “The Unforgiving Minute” include:

“A wonderful, beautifully written story of the education and development of a young soldier-scholar...”—General David Petraeus

“A compelling, can’t-put-down book, a well-written, memorable description of preparing for war and leading in combat.”—Joe Klein, Time magazine

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