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John McCain : An American Odyssey Paperback – Bargain Price, August 17, 1999
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Roughly half of this story is covered in McCain's own memoir, Faith of My Fathers, including McCain's early military career and an internment in a North Vietnamese POW camp that lasted nearly six years. But it's presented here from an objective, journalistic perspective (and Timberg's own stint at Annapolis informs the sections on the Naval Academy immeasurably). But there's also strong material on McCain's political career, from his first campaigns in Arizona through the dark days of his involvement in the "Keating Five" scandal of the early '90s up to his role in 1999 as a critic of American involvement in the NATO attack on Serbia (which, McCain said, wasn't strong enough). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"An American Odyssey" is by journalist Robert Timberg (Baltimore Sun), also a graduate of the Naval Academy but in a more recent year. The portrayal of McCain is sympathetic - military tradition of his family, distinguished service record, heroism as a prisoner of war, passion for doing what he thinks right. No wonder that so many people who crossed paths with McCain remember him with affection and respect.
This is not a puff piece, however, and many incidents are related that show McCain in a less than a flattering light - disrespectful of authority, impulsive, lacking a clear sense of direction. I found this aspect of the book invaluable, as it provides a basis for evaluating the character flaws (terrible temper, broken by North Vietnamese captors, etc.) that critics have attributed to McCain.
Timberg's conclusion: here is a man with flaws, no "early bloomer" for sure, but when the chips were down he did far better than most of us would have done. Crucially, McCain emerged from the dark days of the Vietnam War with a determination to look ahead rather than wasting the rest of his life in anger and regret.
My recommendation: read the book and decide whether you agree.
This book is a great one to start with if you know absolutely nothing about Senator John McCain. The author is a former marine who did a tour in Vietnam in 1966-1967. He first wrote this book in the 90's, some years before Senator McCain started his first bid for the Presidency. I had many laughs reading this book, particularly when I found out what "IHTFP", the title of one of his chapters, stood for. Students at the Naval Academy used this anacronym when referring to their school . It stands for "I hate the f'in place!" I also got a laugh reading about a slip of the tongue McCain had when campaigning for his Arizona Senate seat early in his senate career. He referred to an Arizona retirement community as "Seizure World" instead of Leisure World. He is probably THE ONLY person in U.S. history to get away with such a gaffe and still win an election!
I will continue to hunt for that Reader's Digest article; I have it on hand somewhere-don't throw stuff like that away. For years I had it in my bible along with other articles, poems, mementos.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What more can be said? John McCain makes me proud to be an American.
Margaret Marshall Rhyne, Remembering Alexis, Finding Perspective in Love and Loss
McCain is a bon vivant. He likes the booze. He loves to conquer women. He does not work. He is the grand-son and the son of the U.S. Navy amirals. Read morePublished on October 15, 2008 by Latour07
This is a book which i have had on my bookshelf for 5 years, and have not read until this past month. Mccain is the man i will vote for president, so it was about time i read. Read morePublished on April 12, 2008 by John J. Petersen