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Faith of My Fathers Hardcover – August 31, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st trade ed edition (August 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375501916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375501913
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,554,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 Publishers Weekly

As the 2000 presidential campaign heats up, Republican hopeful McCain, the senior senator from Arizona, weighs in with the most engrossing book to appear in a long time from a presidential candidate. Writing with Salter, his administrative assistant, McCain carefully avoids the pitfalls of self-promotion, knowing that he has a larger, more interesting story to tell than merely why he wants to be president. McCain is famous for the five years he endured as a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton, the most notorious POW camp in Vietnam. Less well known are two other John McCains: his father and grandfather, both of whom served as admirals in the U.S. Navy. The military service of all three men forms the basis of this gripping, heartfelt reflection on war and naval culture. McCain's grandfather was a legendary old salt, a hard-drinking gambler who fought in WWII next to giants like Nimitz and Halsey. McCain's father was a submarine commander who rose to become commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. Almost half the book is devoted to McCain's grueling tenure as a POW. When he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967, he broke both arms, one shoulder and one knee. During his imprisonment, McCain was tortured repeatedly and frequently locked in solitary confinement. The faith McCain avows is a simple one: "in God, country, and each other"Aeach other being his comrades at the Hanoi Hilton and, later, his fellow citizens. McCain's memoir is too good to be dismissed as simply another campaign book. It is a serious, utterly engrossing account of faith, fathers and military tradition. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

McCain would have made a great president.
"ctor4"
It is a true story of honor and three generations of men who truly love/loved our country.
Gerald R. Graczyk
I bought the audio cd version of this book.
Jonathan Minsberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

144 of 155 people found the following review helpful By L. Nicolosi on February 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains quite a bit of military history and military details that some readers will not find interesting. I am one of those people; nevertheless, I found McCain's book delightful overall. It is inspiring to read the life story of a man who lives for something greater than himself, and has the humility to give extensive credit to his forefathers and his fellow POWS, many of whom he mentions by name. McCain tells his story with the help of a professional writer (one online reviewer, who obviously never read this book, says the book couldn't have been written by McCain because he wouldn't have had the time--and that that must be evidence of the man's inauthenticity!) In fact, Faith of My Fathers is full of credit graciously given to a vast array of friends and associates, including his ghostwriter. Today, McCain's once-athletic body still shows evidence of the abuse and torture he suffered. In a self-absorbed age with few heroes, we need to hear more from men of conviction, character and courage like John McCain. It inspires us to push on, regardless of the cost or of the disabilities with which we struggle.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. Wolter on October 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a moving and compelling account of the careers of three extraordinary American sailors. It is an exceptional look at the American soldier and the military family that makes one wonder why we don't have people like this anymore.
McCain's account of his time in a Vietnam POW camp makes one think what they would have done in a similar situation. Would I have turned down early release because other POWs had been there longer? Would I have adhered to the military code of conduct?
Politically, I don't agree with John McCain on his key issues like attacking ethanol and campaign finance reform, but this book makes me put that aside and consider supporting him for president.
It shows he is a leader who can weather the storm.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president to look up to again?
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By CPT Christopher R. McDowell on February 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My wife read this book and kept after me to read it too. At first I did not want to read it because I thought it was another book by a man with a political agenda. After I finally picked it up I could not put it down -- this book is very good. This book reminds me of Baa Baa Blacksheep (A book about a pilot from a different war who was shot down in the Pacific and faced hard times as a POW). Both books tell it like it is. McCain does not try to pretend that he is a saint and candidly tells of his errors in life. The book, however, is about more than McCain it is also about his remarkable family and, more importantly, about his fellow POWs. McCain does not try to pretend that he was America's best POW. In fact, he seems upset by feelings that he was treated better than the other POWs because of his father's rank. While McCain plays down his own acts, he describes in detail the extraordinary acts of heroism of his fellow POWs. If you read this book for no other reason, you should read it for the stories that describe how our fighting men honored themselves and this country by refusing to cooperate with the enemy.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Frances A. Hernan on February 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dealing with the realities of today and the promise of tomorrow we often forget yesterday. As a young army wife with a husband that served two tours in Nam and the mother of a Gulf era veteran reading this book rekindled the memories of the struggle of that horrible time. We do ourselves a dis service if we forget that war. John McCain's description of his captivity is an inspiration that will help me with my focus on our role of peackeeper in this world. I wore his bracelet and prayed for him as a POW, said a thanksgiving prayer when the POWs came home.Now I say thank you for writing a book that won't forget this war of yesterday as we pray that our sons and daughters will never face this ordeal.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While John McCain's politics are too conservative for me, he still gets my attention for this inspiring story. Parts of his father and grandfather's stories could have been shortened to concentrate more on his struggle in Vietnam. His admission that the North Vietnamese did break him shows his honesty and the depths of his mental struggle. I applaud this valuable American and recommend this book.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mike S. on July 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
John McCain's autobiography is a stirring account of perseverance and family values that is ultimately a tribute to the will of humanity to prevail. If only more fathers would give their sons the lessons that John Sr. instilled in John, our world would be a better place. If only more men had the unwavering self-confidence that John had as a POW, we could all live inspired. John McCain shows us that we can grow as people if we learn to do what's right in the end. After all, he wasn't perfect, but he learned to hold his head high and make his life as perfect as it could be with what he had. Outstanding, altogether.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By atomic50s@freewwweb.com on February 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Amazing book. Not only did John withstand Vietnamese torture for five years, but also dealt with personal tragedy upon his arrival back in the States. This is a true success story based on the principals on which this country was founded. John McCain has my vote for President of this great country not only because of his experience, but more importantly because of his character. We should be so lucky to have a man of his convictions in the White House. God bless you, John. You make me proud to be an American again!
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