John McCain is one of the most admired leaders in the United States government, but his deeply felt memoir of family and war is not a political one and ends before his election to Congress. With candor and ennobling power, McCain tells a story that, in the words of Newsweek, "makes the other presidential candidates look like pygmies." John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. This is a memoir about their lives, their heroism, and the ways that sons are shaped and enriched by their fathers. John McCain's grandfather was a gaunt, hawk-faced man known as Slew by his fellow officers and, affectionately, as Popeye by the sailors who served under him. McCain Sr. played the horses, drank bourbon and water, and rolled his own cigarettes with one hand. More significant, he was one of the navy's greatest commanders, and led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II. John McCain's father followed a similar path, equally distinguished by heroic service in the navy, as a submarine commander during World War II. McCain Jr. was a slightly built man, but like his father, he earned the respect and affection of his men. He, too, rose to the rank of four-star admiral, making the McCains the first family in American history to achieve that distinction. McCain Jr.'s final assignment was as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. It was in the Vietnam War that John McCain III faced the most difficult challenge of his life. A naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When Vietnamese military officers realized he was the son of a top commander, they offered McCain early release in an effort to embarrass the United States. Acting from a sense of honor taught him by his father and the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain refused the offer. He was tortured, held in solitary confinement, and imprisoned for five and a half years. Faith of My Fathers is about what McCain learned from his grandfather and father, and how their example enabled him to survive those hard years. It is a story of three imperfect men who faced adversity and emerged with their honor intact. Ultimately, Faith of My Fathers shows us, with great feeling and appreciation, what fathers give to their sons, and what endures.
Six Years in the Hanoi Hilton: An Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in Vietnam
With a foreword by Senator John McCain.In 1967, U.S. Air Force fighter pilot James Shively was shot down over North Vietnam. After ejecting from his F-105 Thunderchief aircraft, he landed in a rice paddy and was captured by the North Vietnamese Army. For the next six years, Shively endured brutal treatment at the hands of the enemy in Hanoi prison camps. Back home his girlfriend moved on and married another man. Bound in iron stocks at the Hanoi Hilton, unable to get home to his loved ones, Shively contemplated suicide. Yet somehow he found hope and the will to survive--and he became determined to help his fellow POWs.In a newspaper interview several years after his release, Shively said, "I had the opportunity to be captured, the opportunity to be interrogated, the opportunity to be tortured and the experience of answering questions under torture. It was an extremely humiliating experience. I felt sorry for myself. But I learned the hard way life isn't fair. Life is only what you make of it."Written by Shively's stepdaughter Amy Hawk--whose mother Nancy ultimately reunited with and married Shively in a triumphant love story--and based on extensive audio recordings and Shively's own journals, Six Years in the Hanoi Hilton is a haunting, riveting portrayal of life as an American prisoner of war trapped on the other side of the world.
Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
John McCain tells the stories of celebrated historical figures and lesser-known heroes whose values exemplify the best of the human spirit in Character Is Destiny. He illustrates these qualities with moving stories of triumph against the odds, hope in adversity, and sacrifices for a cause greater than self-interest. Among the heroes of exemplary character we meet are • Pat Tillman, whose patriotism obliged him to leave the riches and celebrity of the NFL for a soldier’s life in defense of his country • Winston Churchill, who, in a renowned eighteen-word remark, counseled schoolboys to “never give up” • the Catholic priest in Auschwitz who offered to take a condemned man’s place • a nun, formerly a comfortable Beverly Hills housewife, who works with prisoners in Mexico’s worst jails • George Washington, whose wisdom and hard-earned self-control helped him survive the chaos of war Character Is Destiny is McCain’s moving and eloquent tribute to men and women who have lived truthfully, and whose stories will stir the hearts of young and old alike and help prepare us for the hard work of choosing our own destinies. Praise for Character Is Destiny “An eclectic collection of heroes . . . [John McCain] will be remembered in a volume like this some day.”—The Washington Post Book World “Uplifting . . . inspiring . . . The lessons of these people’s lives are as relevant to adults as to children.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “McCain can surprise you, and Character Is Destiny surprises in the diversity of its cast.”—Houston Chronicle“McCain has made a declaration of values that liberals can embrace as readily as conservatives.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him
In 1999, John McCain wrote one of the most acclaimed and bestselling memoirs of the decade, Faith of My Fathers. That book ended in 1972, with McCain’s release from imprisonment in Vietnam. This is the rest of his story, about his great American journey from the U.S. Navy to his electrifying run for the presidency, interwoven with heartfelt portraits of the mavericks who have inspired him through the years—Ted Williams, Theodore Roosevelt, visionary aviation proponent Billy Mitchell, Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!, and, most indelibly, Robert Jordan. It was Jordan, Hemingway’s protagonist in For Whom the Bell Tolls, who showed McCain the ideals of heroism and sacrifice, stoicism and redemption, and why certain causes, despite the costs, are . . .Worth the Fighting ForAfter five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, naval aviator John McCain returned home a changed man. Regaining his health and flight-eligibility status, he resumed his military career, commanding carrier pilots and serving as the navy’s liaison to what is sometimes ironically called the world’s most exclusive club, the United States Senate. Accompanying Senators John Tower and Henry “Scoop” Jackson on international trips, McCain began his political education in the company of two masters, leaders whose standards he would strive to maintain upon his election to the U.S. Congress. There, he learned valuable lessons in cooperation from a good-humored congressman from the other party, Morris Udall. In 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate, inheriting the seat of another role model, Barry Goldwater.During his time in public office, McCain has seen acts of principle and acts of craven self-interest. He describes both ex-tremes in these pages, with his characteristic straight talk and humor. He writes honestly of the lowest point in his career, the Keating Five savings and loan debacle, as well as his triumphant moments—his return to Vietnam and his efforts to normalize relations between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments; his fight for campaign finance reform; and his galvanizing bid for the presidency in 2000.Writes McCain: “A rebel without a cause is just a punk. Whatever you’re called—rebel, unorthodox, nonconformist, radical—it’s all self-indulgence without a good cause to give your life meaning.” This is the story of McCain’s causes, the people who made him do it, and the meaning he found. Worth the Fighting For reminds us of what’s best in America, and in ourselves.From the Hardcover edition.
“Courage,” Winston Churchill explained, is “the ﬁrst of human qualities . . . because it guarantees all the others.” As a naval officer, P.O.W., and one of America’s most admired political leaders, John McCain has seen countless acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. Now, in this inspiring meditation on courage, he shares his most cherished stories of ordinary individuals who have risked everything to defend the people and principles they hold most dear.“We are taught to understand, correctly, that courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity for action despite our fears,” McCain reminds us, as a way of introducing the stories of ﬁgures both famous and obscure that he ﬁnds most compelling—from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Sgt. Roy Benavidez, who ignored his own well-being to rescue eight of his men from an ambush in the Vietnam jungle; from 1960s civil rights leader John Lewis, who wrote, “When I care about something, I’m prepared to take the long, hard road,” to Hannah Senesh, who, in protecting her comrades in the Hungarian resistance against Hitler’s SS, chose a martyr’s death over a despot’s mercy.These are some of the examples McCain turns to for inspiration and offers to others to help them summon the resolve to be both good and great. He explains the value of courage in both everyday actions and extraordinary feats. We learn why moral principles and physical courage are often not distinct quantities but two sides of the same coin. Most of all, readers discover how sometimes simply setting the right example can be the ultimate act of courage.Written by one of our most respected public ﬁgures, Why Courage Matters is that rare book with a message both timely and timeless. This is a work for anyone seeking to understand how the mystery and gift of courage can empower us and change our lives.
THIRTEEN SOLDIERS: A Personal History of Americans at War
John McCain’s evocative history of Americans at war, told through the personal accounts of thirteen remarkable soldiers who fought in major military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War of 1776 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to this subject. Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You’ll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton “Tony” Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians. Each account illustrates a particular aspect of war, such as Mary Rhoads, an Army reservist forever changed by an Iraqi scud missile attack during the Persian Gulf War, and Monica Lin Brown, a frontline medic in rural Afghanistan who saved several lives in an ambushed convoy. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer.
This reissue of the penetrating biography of Senator John McCain, the man who may be the next president of the United States, by celebrated author Robert Timberg now has a new foreword that updates readers on the politician's life since this book's original publication in 1999. In John McCain: An American Odyssey, Timberg provides a riveting account of McCain's remarkable life -- from his rambunctious childhood and his madcap escapades as a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman to his grim experiences as a combat pilot and POW in Vietnam, where the North Vietnamese held him prisoner for five and a half years. Most important, the author illuminates Senator McCain's postwar evolution into one of our country's most distinguished politicians and a formidable presidential candidate. This biography probes deeply into the life of this hugely colorful, straight-talking American original. It is a rich and captivating portrait of one of America's most fascinating and provocative public figures -- a man who has captured the imagination of millions of Americans and who will continue to be a most prominent figure in the American political landscape.
John McCain is unworthy of being President. In this shocking and sometimes factual biography, Brad Willard blows the doors off the myth and legends that surround John McCain. Read this book and you may still vote in November, it just won't be for John McCain.
In Hard Call, acclaimed authors John McCain and Mark Salter describe the anatomy of great decisions in history by telling the remarkable stories of men and women who have exemplified composure, wisdom, and intellect in the face of life's toughest decisions. The authors identify six qualities typically represented in the best decisions: Awareness. Timing. Foresight. Confidence. Humility. Inspiration. These qualities are personified by the exceptional individuals in this book, each of whom made a hard call: Branch Rickey's awareness of the opposition he would face in integrating the Brooklyn Dodgers, and his sagacity in choosing the right man, Jackie Robinson, to break baseball's color barrier. Winston Churchill's foresight in preparing England's Navy for war. Anwar Sadat's and Menachem Begin's timing in choosing to risk their lives and political careers by seeking peace in the aftermath of war. Gertrude Ederle's confidence in deciding to swim the English Channel - and her fortitude in continuing the quest against the wishes of her coach, despite the fact that no woman had ever succeeded. Reinhold Niebuhr's humility in deciding to abandon his pacifist views and endorse the use of violence against persecution in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Abraham Lincoln's historic act of inspiration: His decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, the role of faith in his life, and his willingness to suffer for a cause greater than himself. Woven into these stories are John McCain's own views on the process and art of decision-making and examples of the hard calls we face in our lives. "When I assess a decision," McCain writes, "I want to know all I can about the character of the decision maker before I examine the properties of the decision, its outcome or how it was arrived at." Hard Call is a testament to the people whose choices serve as a beacon for us all.
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