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Worth the Fighting For: A Memoir Hardcover – September 24, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McCain, with help from his administrative assistant Salter, picks up where the bestselling Faith of My Fathers left off, after his release from a North Vietnamese POW prison. After two decades in Congress, he has plenty of stories to tell, beginning with his first experiences on Capitol Hill as a navy liaison to the Senate, where he became friends with men like Henry "Scoop" Jackson and John Tower. (The latter friendship plays a crucial role in McCain's account of the battle over Tower's 1989 nomination for defense secretary.) He revisits the "Keating Five" affair that nearly wrecked his career in the early '90s, pointedly observing how the investigating Senate committee left him dangling for political reasons long after he'd been cleared of wrongdoing. There's much less on his 2000 presidential campaign than one might expect; a single chapter lingers on a self-lacerating analysis of how he lost the South Carolina primary. (He admits, "I doubt I shall have reason or opportunity to try again" for the White House, and may even consider retiring from the Senate.) Self-criticism is a recurring motif, as the senator berates himself for speaking recklessly or letting his temper get the best of him. He nevertheless takes pride in his status as a maverick and pays tribute to inspirational figures like Theodore Roosevelt, Ted Williams and Robert Jordan, the fictional protagonist of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. Luckily for McCain, he's such an engaging storyteller most readers will readily accept these digressions from his own remarkable history.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

More inspirational stories from McCain, following his Faith of My Fathers.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st ed edition (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375505423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375505423
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,839,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Senator John McCain's second volume of autobiography covers his career after his return from captivity in North Vietnam through his unfortunately failed bid for the Presidency in the 2000 elections. As he talks about his life and career, he also discusses those who have inspired and taught him, from history (TR, Billy Mitchell), literature (the Robert Jordan character from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and Brando's portrayal of Zapata in "Viva Zapata"), sports (Ted Williams - a great baseball player and a fine Marine pilot in WWII and Korea), and from his own life (late Senators Scoop Jackson, Morris Udall, and John Tower - two of them Democrats, interestingly - among others). These essays mostly stand on their own and are worth the price of admission alone.
McCain is honest, sometimes brutally so, about his own failings and errors; his description of the Keating Five affair is thorough and unsparing, as are his admissions of occasional prevarication and displays of temper. He is no less straightforward about his political experiences. While a dedicated conservative and a believer, his contempt for the near-fascist "Christian" wing of the Republican party is evident, as is his disgust with the treatment former Senator John Tower received when nominated by President George H.W. Bush for the post of Secretary of Defense, a nomination shot down more by far right wingers than by the Democrats. One thing I did miss was his honest appraisal of the current President, but from patriotic motivations McCain may be saving that for later.
McCain seems to be suggesting at the end of the book that his public life is nearly over, that his Presidential ambitions are finished. All I can say is that I sincerely hope not. I am a Democrat who would support a McCain run for the Presidency unreservedly.
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Format: Hardcover
While there are many politicians who profess to be uncontrollable mavericks who vote strictly based upon their conscience, there are few who do so in actuality. John McCain is one of these few rare creatures that are slowly growing extinct in a political climate that readily denounces instead of encouraging political reform and true representation of one's constituency. As the noble McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform is pondered by the Supreme Court for its supposed unconstitutionality and concurrently eviscerated by machine politicians such as Mitch McConnell, John McCain continues his admirably idealistic and iconoclastic approach to political reform: It's worth the fighting for.
As the vast multitude of Senators surreptitiously sneak in pork barrel earmarks that waste taxpayers billions of dollars per year, McCain espouses a line item veto - where the President can eliminate such wasteful expenditures while still signing the bill into law. McCain is loath to the inherent corruption and undue influence that soft money has effected upon the election process under the auspices of ostensibly independent ads on the eve of elections. Corruption, pork barrel politics, dishonesty, apathy, and anti-Americanism are all anathema to the most distinguished and honorable Senator in our great country - John McCain. I highly recommend this memoir. Just as McCain does so commendably with his politics, he has put his heart into it as only he can.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book which I hoped to be a biographical "chapter 2" to his personal journey after his Viet Nam stint, as covered so well in "Faith of My Fathers," this book offers only a sloppy mish-mash of this and that, which causes it to never commit to be any specific type of book. It tries to be part "Profiles in Courage" (which later McCain books "Courage Matters," and "Hard Call" commit to), part "Leaders" (by Nixon), and part autobiography, but sits as an uncommitted, uneven, unsatisfactory read. On paper this might have been a good idea - to tell one's story by also talking about that person's heroes, but in this work all these different types of works get in the way of each other. There is a chapter that goes on ad nauseum about the Keating scandal to be followed up on a piece of fluff over Ted Williams the baseball player.
This is also probably not the bio that his supporters want us to read during this 2008 election as almost each and every "hero" of his...including his contemporaries...are all dead, which highlights the age issue. I have yet to find a classic bio on this man, but I understand they are out there; unfortunately this book sadly misses its mark.
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Format: Paperback
After reading his other memoir "Faith of my Fathers," I was given "Worth the Fighting For" as a gift. And what a gift it turned out to be! Senator John McCain proves that he is truly one of the great All-American heroes of our time.
This memoir is honest, entertaining, and enlightening. By including the biographies of individuals McCain admired, we gain even better insight into the way John McCain's mind works. We begin to understand his motivations, his aspirations, and above all, his values. I am almost startled by how TRUTHFUL he is in approaching the challenges and obstacles in his life (running the gamut from his first bid for congress, the Keating Five Scandal, the run for President, and his Campaign Finance Reform movement.)What a life he's led!
I could not have come up with a better title for his work ("Worth the Fighting For"). Senator McCain very clearly demonstrates what he believes are the most important values integral to being a public servant and an American. I read this memoir with a pencil, because I found myself underlining so many moving and inspirational passages in his work.
Although I don't share the same political views as McCain, I can't help but feel an awesome sense of admiration for this man and his accomplishments. His memoir moves past political debates and dialogue...to examining and understanding our deeper core beliefs.
My absolute favorite chapters were the ones describing his bid for the Presidency and his efforts in Campaign Finance reform. However, all his biographical sketches were informative and fascinating. Another perk of reading his work, is getting a more personal opinion of the many "famous" elected officials running our nation--it's interesting to think why he either likes/dislikes these individuals.
An excellent work. Definitely pick this one up!
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