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Book cover of Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him

Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him

by John McCain, Mark Salter

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pages: 432
Paperback
ISBN: 9780812969740






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Overview of Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him

In 1999, John McCain wrote one of the most acclaimed and bestselling memoirs of the decade, Faith of My Fathers. That book ended in 1972, with McCain’s release from imprisonment in Vietnam. This is the rest of his story, about his great American journey from the U.S. Navy to his electrifying run for the presidency, interwoven with heartfelt portraits of the mavericks who have inspired him through the years—Ted Williams, Theodore Roosevelt, visionary aviation proponent Billy Mitchell, Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!, and, most indelibly, Robert Jordan. It was Jordan, Hemingway’s protagonist in For Whom the Bell Tolls, who showed McCain the ideals of heroism and sacrifice, stoicism and redemption, and why certain causes, despite the costs, are . . .

Worth the Fighting For

After five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, naval aviator John McCain returned home a changed man. Regaining his health and flight-eligibility status, he resumed his military career, commanding carrier pilots and serving as the navy’s liaison to what is sometimes ironically called the world’s most exclusive club, the United States Senate. Accompanying Senators John Tower and Henry “Scoop” Jackson on international trips, McCain began his political education in the company of two masters, leaders whose standards he would strive to maintain upon his election to the U.S. Congress. There, he learned valuable lessons in cooperation from a good-humored congressman from the other party, Morris Udall. In 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate, inheriting the seat of another role model, Barry Goldwater.
During his time in public office, McCain has seen acts of principle and acts of craven self-interest. He describes both ex-tremes in these pages, with his characteristic straight talk and humor. He writes honestly of the lowest point in his career, the Keating Five savings and loan debacle, as well as his triumphant moments—his return to Vietnam and his efforts to normalize relations between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments; his fight for campaign finance reform; and his galvanizing bid for the presidency in 2000.
Writes McCain: “A rebel without a cause is just a punk. Whatever you’re called—rebel, unorthodox, nonconformist, radical—it’s all self-indulgence without a good cause to give your life meaning.” This is the story of McCain’s causes, the people who made him do it, and the meaning he found. Worth the Fighting For reminds us of what’s best in America, and in ourselves.

Synopsis of Worth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired Him

In 1999, John McCain wrote one of the most acclaimed and bestselling memoirs of the decade, Faith of My Fathers. That book ended in 1972, with McCain's release from imprisonment in Vietnam. This is the rest of his story, about his great American journey from the U.S.

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. (Sept. 24) Forecast: Though McCain is less in the national eye now, the respect he's earned should mean bestseller status again for him.

About the Author, John McCain

John McCain is a United States senator from Arizona. He retired from the navy as a captain in 1981, and was first elected to Congress in 1982. He is currently serving his third term in the Senate. He and his wife, Cindy, live with their children in Phoenix, Arizona. With Mark Salter, he is at work on his third book, about courage, which Random House will publish in the fall of 2003.

Mark Salter has worked on Senator McCain’s staff for thirteen years and is the co-author of Faith of My Fathers. Hired as a legislative assistant in 1989, he has served as the senator’s administrative assistant since 1993. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Diane, and their two daughters.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorials

From Barnes & Noble

The Barnes & Noble Review
In his earlier effort, Faith of My Fathers, Arizona senator John McCain wrote of growing up as the son and grandson of four-star admirals, learning a code of honor, and choosing to serve in the navy as a fighter pilot rather than a ship's officer -- an act that earned him the label of "maverick." In this second memoir, McCain writes with admiration not for his kin but his kind: the contrarians, nonconformists, and independents who, in racking up their achievements, may have ruffled feathers but stayed true to their core beliefs. Intermingled with chapters venerating his idols -- from the late Arizona congressman Morris Udall to baseball great Ted Williams to Teddy Roosevelt -- McCain and coauthor Mark Salter (a longtime McCain staffer) show how his heroes' lessons helped him emerge with his reputation intact from scrapes that would have sullied other men.

In sometimes overly intricate detail, McCain describes some of his most trying moments, instances when his integrity and his good name were called into question: when he was charged with carpetbagging during his first run for office, shortly after first moving to Arizona; when he was accused of influence peddling as part of the "Keating Five"; and when he had to confront revelations about his family's slaveowning past that came to light shortly before he lost the Republican presidential nomination to George W. Bush. While never boastful -- so innate seems McCain's humility that he would surely never be caught praising himself -- his account gives admirers even more to like about a public figure who continues to be tough to nail down. Katherine Hottinger

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. (Sept. 24) Forecast: Though McCain is less in the national eye now, the respect he's earned should mean bestseller status again for him.

Library Journal

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

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