In Character is Destiny, McCain tells the stories of celebrated historical figures and lesser-known heroes whose values exemplify the best of the human spirit. He illustrates these qualities with moving stories of triumph against the odds, righteousness in the face of iniquity, hope in adversity, and sacrifices for a cause greater than self-interest. The tributes he pays here to men and women who have lived truthfully will stir the hearts of young and old alike, and help prepare us for the hard work of choosing our destiny.From the Hardcover edition.
John McCain is one of the most admired leaders in the United States government, but his deeply felt memoir of family and war is not a political one and ends before his election to Congress. With candor and ennobling power, McCain tells a story that, in the words of Newsweek, "makes the other presidential candidates look like pygmies." John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. This is a memoir about their lives, their heroism, and the ways that sons are shaped and enriched by their fathers. John McCain's grandfather was a gaunt, hawk-faced man known as Slew by his fellow officers and, affectionately, as Popeye by the sailors who served under him. McCain Sr. played the horses, drank bourbon and water, and rolled his own cigarettes with one hand. More significant, he was one of the navy's greatest commanders, and led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II. John McCain's father followed a similar path, equally distinguished by heroic service in the navy, as a submarine commander during World War II. McCain Jr. was a slightly built man, but like his father, he earned the respect and affection of his men. He, too, rose to the rank of four-star admiral, making the McCains the first family in American history to achieve that distinction. McCain Jr.'s final assignment was as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. It was in the Vietnam War that John McCain III faced the most difficult challenge of his life. A naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When Vietnamese military officers realized he was the son of a top commander, they offered McCain early release in an effort to embarrass the United States. Acting from a sense of honor taught him by his father and the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain refused the offer. He was tortured, held in solitary confinement, and imprisoned for five and a half years. Faith of My Fathers is about what McCain learned from his grandfather and father, and how their example enabled him to survive those hard years. It is a story of three imperfect men who faced adversity and emerged with their honor intact. Ultimately, Faith of My Fathers shows us, with great feeling and appreciation, what fathers give to their sons, and what endures.From the Hardcover edition.
Now hailed as a classic, one of the most unforgettable and heartbreaking books ever written about the Vietnam War. Glory Denied--the harrowing story of America's longest-held POW, the wrenching agonies faced by his family, and the larger story of a nation divided--returns to Norton a decade after its much-heralded publication. Excerpted in The New Yorker and later made into an opera, it is the heroic story of Floyd "Jim" Thompson, captured in March 1964, who became the longest-held prisoner of war in American history. Tom Philpott juxtaposes Thompson's capture, torture, and multiple escape attempts with the trials of his young wife, Alyce, who, feeling trapped, made choices that forever tied her fate to the war she despised. "One of the most honest books ever written about Vietnam" (Oliver Stone), Glory Denied demands that we rethink the definition of a true American hero.
At some point in our lives, we all face tough decisions and have to make that hard call. In this remarkable book, Senator McCain and Mark Salter use experiences of both extraordinary people and people in extraordinary circumstances to dramatically describe the anatomy of a great decision. Highlights include: - Henry Ford's decision to sacrifice his company's competitive edge by reducing the work day and guaranteeing a minimum wage. - Branch Rickey's decision to offer Jackie Robinson a contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the face of public opposition. - Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf 's decision to return to wartorn Liberia after receiving an economics degree from Harvard. - General Fred Weyand's decision to redeploy fifteen of his battalions despite resistance from senior American military commanders in Vietnam. - And much more.
The first official history of the legendary aircraft carrier that fought in World War II and Vietnam and continues to serve as a major air and space museum in New York CityThe USS Intrepid is a warship unlike any other. Since her launching in 1943, the 27,000-ton, Essex-class aircraft carrier has sailed into harm's way around the globe. During World War II, she fought her way across the Pacific--Kwajalein, Truk, Peleliu, Formosa, the Philippines, Okinawa--surviving kamikaze and torpedo attacks and covering herself with glory. The famous ship endured to become a Cold War attack carrier, recovery ship for America's first astronauts, and a three-tour combatant in Vietnam. In a riveting narrative based on archival research and interviews with surviving crewmen, authors Bill White and Robert Gandt take us inside the war in the Pacific. We join Intrepid's airmen at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in October 1944, as they gaze in awe at the apparitions beneath them: five Japanese battleships, including the dreadnoughts Yamato and Musashi, plus a fleet of heavily armored cruisers and destroyers. The sky fills with multihued bursts of anti-aircraft fire. The flak, a Helldiver pilot would write in his action report, "was so thick you could get out and walk on it." Half a dozen Intrepid aircraft are blown from the sky, but they sink the Musashi. A few months later, off Okinawa, they again meet her sister ship, the mighty Yamato. In a two-hour tableau of hellfire and towering explosions, Intrepid's warplanes help send the super-battleship and 3,000 Japanese crewmen to the bottom of the sea. We're next to nineteen-year-old Alonzo Swann in Gun Tub 10 aboard Intrepid as he peers over the breech of a 20-mm anti-aircraft gun. He's heard of kamikazes, but until today he's never seen one. Swann and his fellow gunners are among the few African Americans assigned to combat duty in the U.S. Navy of 1944. Blazing away at the diving Japanese Zero, Swann realizes with a dreadful certainty where it will strike: directly into Gun Tub 10.The authors follow Intrepid's journey to Vietnam. "MiG-21 high!" crackles the voice of Lt. Tony Nargi in his F-8 Crusader. It is 1968, and Intrepid is again at war. Launching from Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, Nargi and his wingman have intercepted a flight of Russian-built supersonic fighters. Minutes later, after a swirling dogfight over North Vietnam, Nargi--and Intrepid--have added another downed enemy airplane to their credit. Intrepid: The Epic Story of America's Most Legendary Warship brings a renowned ship to life in a stirring tribute complete with the personal recollections of those who served aboard her, dramatic photographs, time lines, maps, and vivid descriptions of Intrepid's deadly conflicts. More than a numbers-and-dates narrative, Intrepid is the story of people--those who sailed in her, fought to keep her alive, perished in her defense--and powerfully captures the human element in this saga of American heroism.
Now available to the public for the first time, the Senate's landmark torture report delivers a damning indictment on CIA interrogation practices.Finally declassified and released after five years in the making, the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's torture program, which describes in excruciating detail what Obama has called "harsh methods . . . inconsistent with our values as a nation," is now available to the American public-citizens who have a right to know the truth.Considered one of the most important government documents ever to be published, the torture report compiles the Senate committee's findings of the CIA's program to detain and interrogate terrorist threats in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, from 2001 to 2006 during the Bush administration. Among other controversial conclusions, the report has found that the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" were not effective in acquiring intelligence to avert terrorist threats. The study also shows that the CIA misled the public, Congress, the Department of Justice, and even the White House on the effectiveness and the scope and severity of their interrogation techniques. The exhaustive and disturbing account also provides grisly accounts on horrific practices that occurred in CIA black sites: prisoners experienced sleep deprivation in stressful positions for up to 180 hours; being stripped and shackled, hooded and dragged down a long corridor while being punched; waterboarding; and "rectal feeding."Based on six million CIA documents and requiring $40 million to complete, the entire 6,000-page report still remains classified. Only 525 pages of summary have been published, with 7 percent of its content redacted, and it is now at the disposal of American readers who have the opportunity to learn what occurred during this dark chapter in modern American history. The Senate report delivers a scathing, shocking, and controversial judgment, and gives us much to think about in terms of our longstanding position on freedom, democracy, dignity, and human rights.
Navy Ace pilot and TOPGUN instructor Bill Driscoll demonstrates how his own life-or-death aerial dogfights--and the preparation for them--can help guide high-risk corporate decisions. Interviews with over 200 senior executives and 26 Ace pilots, as well as strategies from Driscoll's own highly successful second career in commercial real estate, reinforce the consistent patterns underlying exceptional performance under pressure.Benefits: Make tough, split-second decisions under the pressure of the fast-paced, competitive battleground of global enterprise. Cope with ever-changing business conditions, such as company downsizing, management changes, dwindling resources, and tight deadlines. Boost personal, team, and organizational performance.
John McCain's evocative history of Americans at war, told through the personal accounts of thirteen remarkable soldiers who fought in major military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War of 1776 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to this subject. Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You'll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there's Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton "Tony" Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians. Each account illustrates a particular aspect of war, such as Mary Rhoads, an Army reservist forever changed by an Iraqi scud missile attack during the Persian Gulf War, and Monica Lin Brown, a frontline medic in rural Afghanistan who saved several lives in an ambushed convoy. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer.
"Courage," Winston Churchill explained, is "the ﬁrst of human qualities ... because it guarantees all the others." As a naval officer, P.O.W., and one of America's most admired political leaders, John McCain has seen countless acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. Now, in this inspiring meditation on courage, he shares his most cherished stories of ordinary individuals who have risked everything to defend the people and principles they hold most dear. "We are taught to understand, correctly, that courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity for action despite our fears," McCain reminds us, as a way of introducing the stories of ﬁgures both famous and obscure that he ﬁnds most compelling--from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Sgt. Roy Benavidez, who ignored his own well-being to rescue eight of his men from an ambush in the Vietnam jungle; from 1960s civil rights leader John Lewis, who wrote, "When I care about something, I'm prepared to take the long, hard road," to Hannah Senesh, who, in protecting her comrades in the Hungarian resistance against Hitler's SS, chose a martyr's death over a despot's mercy. These are some of the examples McCain turns to for inspiration and offers to others to help them summon the resolve to be both good and great. He explains the value of courage in both everyday actions and extraordinary feats. We learn why moral principles and physical courage are often not distinct quantities but two sides of the same coin. Most of all, readers discover how sometimes simply setting the right example can be the ultimate act of courage. Written by one of our most respected public ﬁgures, Why Courage Matters is that rare book with a message both timely and timeless. This is a work for anyone seeking to understand how the mystery and gift of courage can empower us and change our lives.
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 extremes 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.
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