VILLANOVA, Pa., October 11, 2010 – Can anything truly prepare a soldier for combat? Does anyone return completely unscathed? What are the costs – to the individual and society – of war? The Villanova University community will join together to debate these and other questions as part of its annual One Book Villanova program. Students, faculty, staff and community members will unite in reading The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education, by Craig M. Mullaney, as a springboard for discussion throughout the 2010-11 academic year.
The Unforgiving Minute chronicles Mullaney’s extraordinary metamorphosis from a super-achieving West Point grad, Rhodes Scholar, Airborne Ranger and U.S. Army Captain, to the contemplative teacher of future officers after a life-changing first combat experience in Afghanistan. Through Mullaney’s eyes, readers experience both the pathos and nobility engendered by “the unforgiving minute” in combat that unleashes a domino effect of irreversible consequences.
“The Unforgiving Minute is a compelling memoir – written by someone who is still quite young – a tale of family relationships, a meditation on the morality of war, and a thickly detailed portrait of our country's current geopolitical entanglements,” said Joseph P. Lucia, director of Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library and co-chairman of the One Book Villanova Committee.
“Along the way, it also manages to include a love story and a call to service for the author's contemporaries,” added Lucia. “It will provoke dialog on many topics at Villanova during the months ahead.”
One Book Villanova is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – in activities presented throughout the academic year that explore dominant themes presented in a selected book. Discussion groups, public readings and special events enliven and extend the campus community’s examination of The Unforgiving Minute through the end of the spring semester. A January 31 visit by the author to campus will include a presentation open to the public. Details of the event will be made available, as the date approaches, on the University’s One Book Villanova Website.
This year’s One Book Villanova selection once again taps into the breaking news of the day as the United States involvement in Afghanistan enters its ninth year. Other selections featured since the One Book Villanova program began in 2005 include The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji.