Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who has served as chancellor at the College of William and Mary since 2012, will give a talk on his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, on Saturday at Phi Beta Kappa Hall at the college.
The talk is set for 1:30 p.m. at the 700-seat venue, with a reception to follow at Swem Library. Admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis; doors open at noon. The William and Mary Bookstore will be selling copies of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War beginning at 12:30 and those who pre-ordered copies can pick them up at Phi Beta Kappa Hall.
Gates will take questions from the audience during the event, which is free and open to both the campus community and the general public part of the college's Charter Day festivities celebrating its 321st year.
His criticism of President Barack Obama in the new memoir has been chronicled by the national news media since the release of the book on Jan. 14. In his introduction, Gates writes: "This is a book about my more than four and a half years at war. It is, of course, principally about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where initial victories in both countries were squandered by mistakes, shortsightedness, and conflict in the field as well as in Washington, leading to long, brutal campaigns to avert strategic defeat. It is about the war against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, those responsible for our national tragedy on September 11, 2001."