Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir
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Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  2,060 ratings  ·  257 reviews
Senator John McCain learned about life and honor from his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy. Both their careers and their courage helped prepare McCain for the biggest challenge of his life when, as a naval aviator, he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and seriously injured. When his captors realized McCain's impressive military legacy, they o...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 22nd 2000 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1999)
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booklady
Oct 14, 2008 booklady rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any patriotic American
Despite its unfortunate title, Faith of My Fathers is an incredible book which has almost nothing to do with organized religion and everything to do with living an honorable life. The 'faith' Senator McCain is speaking about only becomes apparent on page 257 of the book and it is spelled with a small 'f', meaning 'keeping faith with one's brothers', in particular under the uniquely horrendous circumstances he faced as an American in a Vietnamese Prisoner of War camp in the 1960s. To attempt to i...more
Philip
This book reminded me about everything I love and hate about patriotism. Although it initially dragged, (and I mean really dragged) McCain's stories of his internment in Vietnam along with his father's stories of being in a submarine while the Japanese were dropping depth charges were fascinating. But, it took him too long to get to the stories of his sacrifice for our country.

The beginning of the book dealt with a lot of McCain's ancestry. He was trying to portray a sense of fate, but for those...more
Ryan
Just like Obama's first book, this family memoir really tells you a lot about McCain. It goes into great length about his father's and grandfather's roles in WWII and the Vietnam War, which is both fascinating and a good history lesson. It also has many detailed chapters about his time as a POW. I'd challenge anyone to read this and not come away with a deeper appreciation for his service to our country.

You always hear about his 5 1/2 years spent as a POW, but I think that concept is so foreign...more
Eric K.
The 5-star review is NOT an endorsement of McCain for President. His time and place was 2000, and the country and the world suffer for his loss to Bush in the GOP primaries. Now he's too old, too crotchety, and will with a mathematical certainty get the USA into a righteous and wholly unnecessary war with Iran. As it happens, so far I support Obama.

But this book is extraordinary. McCain's father AND grandfather were admirals, but he never felt affection for or from them. He enrolled in the Naval...more
Jessica
Sep 19, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every American
Wow! I loved this book so much. John McCain is a great storyteller and he has many too tell. It was a fascinating and educational read, full of ups and downs. The things he indured throughout his navy carrier and as a POW are amazing and make me so proud of all those who serve our country. He has had so many close calls that I'm left feeling God has great work for this man to do. He strikes me as a humble man who is full of integrity and lives his life to the best of his ability (though he never...more
Michelle
Faith of My Fathers is a MUST read for every American (regardless of your political affiliations). John McCain discusses his family legacy (both his grandfather and father served high positions in the military), and the impact that those men had on his own military career. A good portion of the book is devoted to McCain's 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Although I knew the basics of McCain's time as a POW, I found it extremely interesting and absolutely heartbreaking to hear o...more
Kevin
Excellent book, well written, and engaging. I wanted to read this book to learn a bit more about John McCain. To be fair to both presidential candidates, I also plan to read Barack Obama's autobiography, not because I like or support him, but because I want to know more about him. Let me emphasize the fact that I do not plan on reading it because I like him, support him, or agree with his views (in fact, I feel quite the opposite), but to learn more about him.

Anyways. Back to John McCain. This b...more
Ray
I had mixed feelings about McCain going into this book. I finished it, and in some ways I am more confused. Not because the book wasn't clarifying -- it added ALOT to my picture of McCain. The problem is that the more you know him the more complicated you realize he is.

This is NOT your typical ghost written 'campaign' autobio. (though I'm sure his help from Mark Salter was considerable). This is a VERY honest and revelatory account of his pre-political life and that of his family. He is open, s...more
Brandon O'Neill
My goal was to read a McCain and Obama book by the time of the election. I feel more comfy with McCain so he got the nod. This is not a political book in the sense that it is not about current policy. It is a memoir of his grandfather, father, and his own experiences in war. Anything political in his book refers to Vietnam.
The first third of the book was OK. It dealt with his grandfather and father's experiences in WWII, mainly. The book kicked into high gear for me when he talks about himsel...more
Chrissy
Sep 03, 2008 Chrissy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys reading about the military & who likes John McCain
Recommended to Chrissy by: My school
You’re probably saying to yourself “I have heard of family values but I really don’t know what it is.” The meaning of this phrase is simply put as a political and social concept used in many cultures to describe what is expecting. In the book “Faith of My Fathers”, John McCain III tries to follow in his father and paternal grandfather’s footsteps by enrolling in the navy. His family was very big on military and fighting for your country. To be a son and grandson of two men that have both ranked...more
Janet
Feb 16, 2008 Janet rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Voters, Americans, Patriots
“People may not love you for being strong when you have to be, but they respect you for it and learn to behave themselves when you are.”

Admiral Jack McCain father of Senator John McCain

Combining 2 targets of recent study, the military and politics, I began John McCain’s book with heightened interest. In searching for the right candidate for the Presidency, John McCain has become the man that intrigues me most. Here is an obvious American Hero, an individual who has given his life in service to...more
Chris Munson
Obviously, I’d heard a little bit about McCain’s military service and some of his personal story during the 2008 presidential election. But, I really still didn’t know much about him. So, I thought it time to pick up his autobiography as the next election cycle begins to heat up. Surprisingly, there really isn't any political content - so don't be put off from reading the book if you don't lean to the right. The book details three generations of McCain warriors, including his grandfather's and f...more
Jack W Perry
Regardless of one's political perspective, this is a book to be read. It is a great story.

McCain showed great courage and honor during his 5.5 years in a Viet-Nam POW camp. He was tortured and abused. He survived. He is an American hero.

I don't always agree with his politics, but I do respect him. He is not some tin-soldier war-hawk that hides behind his political office. Recently he voted for the latest gun-control bill. He was one of four GOP members to do so. He is someone the GOP should list...more
Dennis C.
I gained a lot of respect for John McCain after reading this. I came away from believing McCain is steadfast and sincere in his convictions about the war in Iraq. At the same time i disagree wholeheartedly with his conclusions about Vietnam.
I read this while traveling to Vietnam. After touring Hanoi and visiting a Vietnam War museum there, it becomes clear our leaders view of the war and the way the people of Vietnam viewed it were very different. Iraq seems to be a continuation of our leader's...more
Kimberly
I gained a greater understanding of war and McCain's perspective based on his experiences. To me, he seemed rather boastfult. Reminded me of his 08 campaign, that even though he kept saying that he wasn't about himself, all for his country, he kept reciting all the things HE went through for his country. NOW, when I see him in the media voicing his viewpoints as senator from Arizona, I can appreciate his opinions and perspectives so much more - in part, from reading this book. But moreso, seems...more
Hilmi Isa
Faith of My Fathers merupakan sebuah buku memoir/separa autobiografi. Fokus utama buku ini adalah membincangkan pengalaman penulis buku ini sendiri,seorang senator Amerika Syarikat dan calon Presiden untuk parti Republikan pada tahun 2008,John McCain,ketika menjadi banduan perang (Prisoner of War atau P.O.W.) ketika Perang Vietnam pada tahun 1960-an dahulu. Namun begitu,buku ini turut memaparkan autobiografi ringkas mengenai diri penulis sendiri berserta datuk dan bapanya (John S. McCain,Sr. dan...more
Heather
Jan 19, 2009 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in military history
I very much enjoyed the military history of this family's experiences in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I learned some interesting things about those conflicts that I did not know previously. However, as a memoir I found it disappointing. Good memoir and biography, like good fiction, should draw me in and build an emotional attachment to the characters. This book is very detached in it's descriptions and more sentimental than emotional. Even the narrative of McCain's time in a prisoner of war...more
Marcia
I have never been a big fan of John McCain, but his is a great story. For people who appreciate family tradition and honor (and especially families with a military history), this is a very interesting book. He tells the story of his father and grandfather as well as the story of his own military service. It is straitforward with not much flourish or fan fare. Because of this, it is very, very slow in parts. But it is such an amazing story it is worth it. I bought this book at the dollar store, s...more
Jessica
I respect and admire John McCain. While this book took me about 5 months to finish (not exactly a thrilling read save for the last 50 pages), it was valuable to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the man who (should've beat Bush and would've beat Kerry and..) could've been President.

The book was basically divided into three parts: the biography of his paternal grandfather, the biography of his father, and his own autobiography. The first two are long-winded. His admiration for these two...more
kyersten
Nov 06, 2008 kyersten rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
John McCain said he had a "sense that it would fall to him to represent his family when the history of his generation was recorded." Maybe that was one of the reasons why he wrote "Faith of my Fathers". I am probably not the typical person to read this type of memoir. I'm not really interested in the details of military service, or war time stories, but this book is much more than that. I found it to be quite insightful. When his grandfather said, "dying for your principles and country was a pri...more
David Woods
I always feel like 3 stars looks like a bad rating, but it's defined as "I liked it". So that's what this gets. The first 80-100 pages talked about McCain's father and grandfather, and although there was some interesting history there, it was really slow reading. I persevered though, in eager anticipation to hear McCain's account of his time as a POW in North Vietnam. Once we transitioned to talking about his life, it was much more interesting. I think when you're talking about your own life, yo...more
Brian
Entertainment-0 Stars
Education- 1 Star
Readability- 1 star
Innovation- 0 Stars
Inspiration- 0 Stars

I read this book to get an impression of what John McCain is like. How we see ourselves and how others see us are usually quite different. I think that McCain’s strengths are that he is strong willed, and he was extremely committed to his fellow service members, his country and Navy tradition. His real weakness is that he can’t see anything outside this narrow tunnel of existence. I don’t want to be u...more
chucklesthescot
Senator John McCain tells of his family service in the American military, including his own service in Vietnam. He talks about his capture and his 5 years of imprisonment and torture by the NVA and it is a really incredible story.

Two stars might seem a bit mean to those who have read this book and it should not discourage anyone from reading it. The parts of the book that dealt with John McCain's war service, capture and torture by the NVA in Vietnam were shocking and gripping. It talks about th...more
Kyle
It's an odd feeling when you are purchasing a book that goes contrary to your point of view. I felt like explaining to everyone near me that I wasn't a Republican, that I was planning on voting for Obama, and that I just felt I needed to give each candidate a "fair" shot at gaining my vote. I selected the book entitled "Faith of my Fathers" as I felt it would be a nice complement to Obama's "Dreams From my Father". Both books detail the early years of the candidates. Obama's from birth, through...more
Byron
John McCain is a war hero and a true patriot. He picked a lousy writer to tell his story. That may be a bit harsh, but I struggled mightily to keep trudging through the lofty writing style that was beyond verbose. The text was written in the 1st person, but it didn't match AT ALL the character it was trying to portray -- an admittedly flamboyant flyboy who spent more time disregarding the rules than honing his craft. And I felt like the first 12 chapters could be summarized pretty succinctly: "m...more
Tyler
Synopsis: The first half of this book is the story of McCain's naval forbears. His grandfather commanded an aircraft carrier in the Second World War and his father presided over all naval forces in the Pacific arena during the Vietnam War. McCain then moves into the story of his own life at the Naval Academy and early naval career. McCain was on his second tour of Vietnam when he was shot down over Hanoi and imprisoned in cruel prison camp where many prisoners were tortured to death. The book en...more
Dave Mevis
Oct 26, 2008 Dave Mevis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone following the 2008 presidential election
This book is approximately 1/3 about the military careers of John McCain's father and grandfather, and 2/3 about McCain's time as a POW in North Vietnam. Frankly, it is almost too detailed in that regard. McCain's sufferings in prison were great, and he did much in order to not dishonor his father - a recurrent theme of the prison years described in the book. Loyalty to father and to prison-mates is discussed dozens of times more frequently than is loyalty to God, country or family. McCain's fat...more
P
No, "Faith of My Fathers" does not refer to religion, unless you confess a belief in Navy-ism. Interesting memoir about the three John McCains famous for their U.S. Navy careers in the 20th Century. First half speaks of grandfather and father, second half discusses Senator John McCain's naval career, mostly his five and a half years in captivity in North Vietnam (including the infamous "Hanoi Hilton"). Once I got past page 100 (lots of reporting of WWII naval battles), the book was hard to put d...more
Natalie
The first half of the book got 2 stars and the last half of the book got 4 stars, so I'll have to average out the rating and give it 3 stars.

I picked up this book at the library hoping to learn more about John McCain. I wasn't a fan of him before reading this book, but after reading this I have more respect for the guy.

The first half of the book talks about his grandpa's & his dad's military experiences. It was pretty boring for a person like me (who doesn't know much about the World Wars an...more
Peter
A insightful look into McCain's family and his captivity in Vietnam. The book is roughly divided into three sections where John describes his grandfather's, his father's and his own military experiences. The book would be a good read for a military history fan, or someone interested in learning about McCain's character.

From the start of the book John explains his families long and faithful military history going back many generations from the Army to the Navy. He then concentrates on his grandfa...more
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John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican candidate in the 2008 United States Presidential Election.

McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bomb...more
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“In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn't until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her. ” 32 likes
“Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.” 16 likes
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