Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Senator John McCain’s deeply moving memoir is the story of three generations of warriors and the ways that sons are shaped and enriched by their fathers.

John McCain’s grandfather, a four-star admiral and one of the navy’s greatest commanders, led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet during World War II. McCain’s father, also a four-star admiral, served as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War.

It was in Vietnam that John McCain III faced the most difficult challenge of his life. A naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967. Recognized as the son of a top commander, McCain was tortured and imprisoned for five and a half years. Despite this, he refused Vietnamese offers of an early release. What McCain learned from his grandfather and father enabled him to survive those hard years.

A testament to the power of human endurance, Faith of My Fathers is the story of three men who fought for their country with courage and emerged with their honor intact.

Praise for Faith of My Fathers

“A thoughtful first-person take on survival, both physical and psychological . . . hard to top and impossible to read without being moved.”USA Today
“A candid, moving, and entertaining memoir . . . impressive and inspiring, the story of a man touched and molded by fire who loved and served his country in a time of great trouble, suffering, and challenge.”Kirkus Reviews
“A serious, utterly gripping account of faith, fathers, and the military.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Faith of My Fathers may also appeal to those who flocked to Saving Private Ryan and kept Brokaw's The Greatest Generation near the top of the bestseller lists.”Library Journal
Faith of My Fathers is the powerful story of a war hero. In it we learn much of what matters most. As prisoner (and later Senator) McCain instructs us: Glory is not an end in itself, but rather a reward for valor and faith. And the greatest freedom and human fulfillment comes from engaging in a noble enterprise larger than oneself. Faith of My Fathers teaches deep truths that are valid in any age but that warrant special attention in our own.”—William J. Bennett

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613278195
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Pages: 349
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 8.21(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Senator John McCain entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954 and served in the United States Navy until 1981. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and to the Senate in 1986. The Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election, McCain was also the author of Faith of My Fathers, Worth the Fighting For, Why Courage Matters, Character Is Destiny, Hard Call, Thirteen Soldiers, and The Restless Wave. John McCain died in 2018.

Mark Salter is the author, with John McCain, of several books, including Faith of My Fathers and The Restless Wave. He served on Senator McCain’s staff for almost twenty years.

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Fifth from the Bottom

Excerpted from "Faith of My Fathers"
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Copyright © 2016 John McCain.
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Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be a required reading for all high schoolers. McCain does try to tell all the great things he has done, he just lays out the facts. His sense of honor and duty to country would be a great influence on the youth of today. If this man were president, I could rest alot easier at night.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Faith of my Fathers is a very interesting Navy story. I wanted to read about McCain and learn about his story. It is very interesting and I am glad I know more. I do not feel making a political statement is my place, I would be honored to meet him and I think he has been a fantastic leader for all of us regardless what your political flavors lead you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While John might not be the greatest speaker of all time, he among America's best prepared to lead as President. This book shows just how prepared he is due to his previous life experience. One that shows the quality of the man and the valor of his service.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a compelling story of a young man by the name of John McCain the third, who was captured by the Vietnamese and taken hostage. Before he was taken hostage he talked about how his father was in the Vietnam and trained to be a pilot. His father returned home, but John didn't, he stayed in Vietnam where he was taken as a hostage and physically beat and brutally tortured throughout his stay. He finally escapes through a torturous story and lives to tell this story today. John McCain is the Senator for Arizona and may be running for President this year. This book tells the reader that they should never give up, fight for what you believe in, and to have faith in your country. I liked many parts in this book especially the part when John gets captured, he never thinks about loosing his faith in his country and men, but also has the will to hold his head up high. My only dislike in this book was the beginning when he talked about his Grandfather and what he did in the war. This book was very good and heart warming in the way that McCain never gives up loving his country. If you like heart filling books packed with faith and action this is the book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating biography about a remarkable man--Sen. John McCain--and his family. I have seldom read a book in which the author was so openly and thoughtfully introspective including sharing behavior or experiences about which he says he was ashamed. The book is refreshingly honest, which is so unusual these days, particularly in the political arena. Readers are introduced to Senator McCain's grandfather, a naval officer during WWII, and his father, a submarine officer who ultimately became Commander-In-Chief of the Pacific 'CINPAC'. Following this introduction we learn more about Sen. McCain during his adolesent years, at the Naval Academy and during the Vietnam War including his capture and years as a POW in Vietnam. Sen. McCain's description of the torture endured by him and others is chilling to contemplate. The details of his captivity are so lucid you can almost visualize the POW camps and understand the severe conditions they experienced. Sen. McCain appears to be somewhat stubborn and impatient, but a humble man whose love for his family and country knows no bounds. I admire him greatly and appreciate his service to this country. I recommend this book highly, particularly for those who seek to understand more about this man's character, integrity and potential as a U.S. President.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Senator McCain has written a moving memoir that, by constrast, does NOT show George W. Bush in a good light. This isn't specifically stated but one of these men served in combat as a fighter pilot and the other one just flew meaningless National Guard missions when he wasn't campaigning for his Dad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captured everything that I had wanted to know about the gentleman from Arizona. It talks about the great military tradition of the McCain family and how one can succeed, despite difficult hardships. A tremendous novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting Book! My favorite portions of the book were about McCain's father and grandfather. They were pretty neat guys, and I finished this book with some new insites into living a better life. You might not like McCain, and you might decide that he has always been sort of a rebel, but you can't say that he doesn't try to decide what is right and stick to the course. I think that takes guts!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The accounts of John McCain as a POW in Vietnam are amazing and shocking. You will be on the edge of your seat as if it were fiction. Whether or not you agree with McCain's political views, this book filters through that and into his life as a naval aviator, and a hero.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had expected this book to be more about McCain and his personal journey through war and into politics. Instead, it describes the experiences of his grandfather, father and himself serving in the military. If you are a WWII or Vietnam War buff, this is for you. After reading this, I felt I had experienced being a POW myself. I also thought it was novel to read about the experiences of someone who supported American involvement in the Vietnam War. McCain shares his pride in America and I came away feeling quite patriotic myself. Overall, it was an interesting book, a quick read, descriptive, and insightful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 18 years old and I have just completed reading his book. It is a masterpiece.I was a step away from getting an appointment to Annapolis, but it did not fall through.I am inspired so much that I have enlisted in the U.S.Navy for both my father and grandfather were in the navy although they were not admirals. McCain's book told me that glory is not self-seeking.It is something you get by serving a cause greater than yourself and I think every teenager should be exposed to patriotism and leadership of this magnitude whether in school or at home.John has inspired me and I hope everyone else is inspired by this real life hero.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My father was 1hr away from going to Vietnam himself. Although it turned out he didn't go, to this day if Vietnam is even mentioned, my Dad's eyes have tears. I never could fully understand it. Hearing Sen. McCain's story, I feel the young people of this country get a better picture of the hell our fathers went through. John McCain is a true American Hero, who has a great sense of humor. It's a terrible shame that America let him down in his bid for the Presidency.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great reading! An American at his best. This makes us feel that patriotism is still part of America. We are not the world, we are Americans first!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is truly a touching story and a great history account of one of America's greatest families of patriots that have served our nation bravely for centuries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, it will make you want to change your philosophy on life. It is a story of courage and the importance of morals and ethics to prepare you for any situation in life. John McCain's experience in the camp is a lesson to live because life is a gift. This is a book that will change your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Faith of My Fathers was an outstanding book. From the moment the book talked about his father in WWII, to his own childhood, to when he returned home home from Vietnam, the book was action packed. I liked the fact it talked about his father and grandfather. I did not know they were both Naval admirals. The only slow part I thought was the chapter where it talked about his father taking command of CINPAC. This chapter was right in the middle of the chapters dealing with John McCain's experiences as a prisoner of war. I would recomend this book to anyone, weather you like war or not, this book deals with heroisim, courage, and honor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and have shared it with some of my colleagues. I bought it not only because I have admired the Senator ever since I heard of the tragic fire aboard the FORRESTAL during the Vietnam war and his subsequent imprisonment in North Vietnam but primarily because I served aboard the U.S.S. ST PAUL (CA-73) under his father, John S. McCain, Jr. I was GREATLY DISAPPOINTED in the book when I read Senator McCain's words about his father: 'During the Korean War, as a captain, he served as second in comand on the destroyer USS St. Paul.' (p. 93) I served aboard the USS SAINT PAUL (CA-73)1949-51 and made two Korean cruises aboard her. John S. McCain, Jr. was the Executive Officer (2nd in command) and his rank was COMMANDER (not captain). Further, the SAINT PAUL IS NOT A DESTROYER. It is a Baltimore Class HEAVY CRUISER, which, unfortunately has been scrapped and made into razor blades. As a former sailor, the Senator should not have permitted such errors to creep into and remain in his book. At present, there are about 2500 veterans who are members of the U.S.S. SAINT PAUL (CA-73) ASSOCIATION, many of whom had the same privilege of serving under then CDR. John S. McCain, Jr. It was my honor to have been personally appointed to the ship's Master at Arms Force by Commander McCain. He was indeed an officer who genuinely cared for the welfare of the enlisted men that served under his command and whom the 'white hats' deeply respected! The Senator owes a sincere apology to all the enlisted men and officers who served under his father who, at the time was CDR. JOHN S. MCCAIN, JR.! We share the Senator's pride in his father's subsequent achievement of four-star admiral and CINCPAC!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an inspiring book which really made me think about what Americans have sacrificed and how proud I am to be a citizen of our great country. John McCain is a man of the highest character who I greatly respect. The chapters which describe his 5 1/2 years as a POW are incredibly moving and saddening. My eyes filled with tears as I read his account of the dreadful cruelty he experienced in Vietnam.
kiravk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked John McCain before I started Faith of My Fathers, but I had my reservations when I saw that the book was co-authored by Mark Salter. If you've ever corrected someone else's essay, you know how words can be chucked and changed, until final product hardly bears a resemblance to the original. All the same, I foraged on ahead. Unsurprisingly, McCain descends from a long line of military men. The first few chapters are filled with slow, winding descriptions of his grandfather and father, both four star admirals, and their numerous accomplishments. You'd think that the third McCain would be a hardworker with such a legacy, but instead, he's a self indulgent party boy and trouble maker, with lousy grades and an even lousier work ethic. Anyone else would have been expelled from the naval academy, but his influential father manages to keep his n'ere-do-well son out of serious trouble untli he gets to Vietnam. Regardless of what you may think about his politics, it should be difficult for anyone to read McCain's account of his imprisonment and not at least respect the man. When his plane crashed in a lake in Hanoi, a mob of Vietnamese citizens dragged him out and began stabbing him with a bayonet. He was taken into custody and subsequently beaten, tortured, and starved. But as soon as Vietnamese officials became aware that his father was an importnat commander for the American military, they offered to send him home. After months of abuse, it would have been tempting to exchange the miserable prison conditions for the comforts of the United States. But despite his injuries, McCain refused, insisting he'd stay until the men captured before him were released first. And so ensued five and a half years of prison life, years that were marked with solitary confinement, sickness, torture, and boredom. Extrodinarily, these are the years that turned McCain the callow youth into a courageous, formidable man. He humbly points out time and time again that the Vietnamese treated him better than other prisoners due to his father, and that harsher punishments were dealt to other men. The obnoxious rabble rousing we see in earlier chapters matures when McCain strives to raise the spirits of his fellow prisoners and rebels against his captors. He admits his flaws and pokes fun at himself, and learns that life is too short to hold grudges. It's a remarkable coming-of-age character transformation. "I was no longer the boy to whom liberty meant simply that I could do as I pleased, and who, in my vanity, used my freedom to polish my image as an I-don't-give-a-damn nonconformist," he writes. "All of us were committed to one another. I knew what the others were suffering. Sitting in my cell, I could hear their screams as their faith was put to the test. My first concern was not that I might fail God and country, although I certainly hoped that I would not. I was afraid to fail my friends. I was afraid to come back from an interrogationa nd tell them I couldn't hold up as well as they had. However I measured my character before Vietnam no longer mattered. What mattered now was how they measured my character. My self-regard became indivisible from their regard to me. And it will remain so for the rest of my life." While I still don't agree with our current foreign policy, this memoir helped me see where John McCain is coming from.
stevetempo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great way to get to know an almost President of the US. I found this memoir touching and inspiring.
cutiger80 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book, if anyone is curious about the snippets you have heard about the past of this great patriot running for President you need to read this and his subsequent book. In fields full of elitists Sen. John McCain and his father and his grandfather before him proudly served his country as members of the United States Navy. This history of service and the background of how John McCain looks at the world is all here; if you are even curious you should read this well written and very informative book about a great leader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War as part of a B-52 crew, I was amazed to read of the rebellious spirit of McCain and his fellow POWs. Surviving such physical and mental torture must have taken an incredible will to live.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Far, far superior to the usual political autobiography. This is largely because, in addition recounting his harrowing treatment as a POW, McCain spends two-thirds of the book on his father and grandfather, both riveting characters. His grandfather, a four star admiral, is a cursing, gambling eccentric adored by his men. His submariner father is driven to match these accomplishments, and, hemmed in by three Japanese destroyers, engineers an escape that beggars fiction. He too ends his career as a four star admiral. And don't miss the part where his grandfather (jokingly) accuses MacArthur of having VD. This must have been a fun book for Salter to write. Read while traveling (3.5.08)
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a McCain fan, so I was almost sure to enjoy this book anyway; nonetheless, I found it inspiring and well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A goodbbook