Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

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9780060957865: Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

Senator John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. Both their careers and their courage helped prepare McCain for the biggest challenge of his life when, as a naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When his captors realized McCain's impressive military legacy, they offered him early release. In what has now become a legendary act of heroism, McCain refused the offer and was subsequently tortured, held in solitary confinement, and imprisoned for more than five years.

Faith of My Fathers is about what McCain learned from his father and grandfather, and how their example enabled him to survive. Told with humility, grace, and humor, it is a story of three imperfect men who faced adversity and emerged with their honor intact. It is a story to inspire and instruct, one that shows what fathers give to their sons, and what, ultimately, endures.

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Review:

Books by politicians are not often worth reading, but John McCain's Faith of My Fathers is an astonishing exception to the rule. The Republican senator from Arizona has a remarkable story to tell--better than just about any of his peers--and he tells it well, with crisp prose and an unexpected sense for narrative pacing. The first half of the book concerns his naval forbears: his grandfather commanded an aircraft carrier in the Second World War, while his father presided over all naval forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. They were the first father-son admirals in American history. Young John McCain knew he had enormous shoes to fill and rebelled against many of the expectations set for him. At the Naval Academy, he was nearly expelled, graduating fifth from the bottom of his class. He never became an admiral, but achieved fame another way: as a naval aviator in 1967, he was shot down over North Vietnam and spent several years in POW camps, where he was beaten, tortured, and nearly allowed to die. McCain describes the awful details of his imprisonment and tells how he stayed mentally strong during seemingly endless months of solitary confinement and how he communicated in code with fellow captives. Faith of My Fathers concludes with McCain's release and contains no information about his subsequent political career. It is, nonetheless, a complete and compelling memoir of individual heroism--one that will interest both political and military history buffs. --John J. Miller

From the Inside Flap:

Read by John McCain
4 CDs, approx. 5 hours

John McCain's grandfather was rail-thin, 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 significantly, he was one of the navy's greatest commanders, and led the aircraft carrier of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II.

John McCain's father fallowed a similar path, one 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 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 officer, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When Vietnamese millitary officers realized he was the son of the top commande, they offered McCain early release in an effort to embarass the United States. Acting from a sense of honor taught to 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.

This memoir is the story of what McCain learned from his grandfather and father, and how their example enabled him to endure these hard years. It is a story of three imperfect men who faced adversity and emerged with their honor intact. Ultimately, Faith of My Father is a story of fathers and sons, what they give each other and what endures

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John McCain, Mark Salter
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McCain, John; Salter, Mark
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John McCain; Mark Salter
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