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Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  2,658 Ratings  ·  274 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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Oct 14, 2008 booklady rated it really liked it
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
Jan 13, 2009 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
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
Sep 19, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 16, 2008 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 16, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Sep 02, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing
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
Eric K.
Oct 31, 2007 Eric K. rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 06, 2008 Ray rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it
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
Sep 03, 2008 Chrissy rated it liked it
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
Brandon O'Neill
Sep 29, 2008 Brandon O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Munson
Aug 15, 2012 Chris Munson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, politics
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
Apr 21, 2013 Jack W Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dennis C.
Aug 28, 2007 Dennis C. rated it liked it
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
Lou Fillari
Jul 23, 2016 Lou Fillari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good little family memoir. It's titled Faith of My Fathers and dammit, he spoke about faith of his fathers. And being a POW. He made it sound treacherous, which was probably the goal.

I've been debating between three and four stars all day but this story was nerve-wracking and intense. Honestly, I'm frightened of what Mac Kane will do to me if he finds out I only rated this three stars.
Jul 21, 2008 Brian rated it it was ok
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
Kenneth Flusche
Oct 08, 2016 Kenneth Flusche rated it it was amazing
Well Done...... My only disagreement with Mr. McCain is his insistence that the Military could have won the war in Vietnam. He truly believes that and I can honor him for sticking to it. Using his argument then the Brits could have won our First War and the South could have won the Worst War. He states his case with Honor but his enemy North Vietnam was not the enemy in this war. My generations War ..........
Jan 30, 2011 Kyle rated it liked it
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
Nov 08, 2008 Louis rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who think about how the desire to serve and sense of duty and honor are developed
Faith of My Fathers is the book about the making of a military officer, whose author was preparing for the 2000 Republican Presidential primary campaign. McCain talks about his father and grandfather, both successful Navy officers (an Admiral who became CINCPAC, and a submarine Captain).

McCain discusses his relationship with the Navy in the context of this family. The fact that as a young man, he was not so serious about the Navy, that it started out looking like just a job. In this, he acknowl
Hilmi Isa
Jul 11, 2012 Hilmi Isa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2008 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 02, 2009 Kimberly rated it liked it
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
Nov 06, 2008 kyersten rated it really liked it
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
Oct 18, 2010 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Finished John McCain's book on duty, honor, country. Regardless of political affiliation, the guy is an amazing man with an incredible story. I thoroughly enjoyed his book and found it a good read. He has a ton of insight into the military/political thought of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His personal experience as a POW is nothing short of amazing and every American should be proud of the men and women that serve knowing that this too could happen to them. I know that as an Air Force pilot it is a ...more
John Allen
Jan 29, 2015 John Allen rated it did not like it
This book has nothing to do with faith--that is, unless you're talking about faith in war and guns and bombs and the glory of all that. I wonder why McCain told his ghostwriter to use this as the title.

My grandfather fought in WW2, got the purple heart fighting the Nazis. Was wounded. He said he never wanted to hold a gun again, and would have never glorified war the way this narcissistic, fake glory hound does. For awhile there in the late early 2000s, he was on track, expanding his political
Oct 19, 2011 chucklesthescot rated it it was ok
Shelves: true, war, political, abandoned
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
Aug 31, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I don't share his politics this is a book worth reading. It's an interesting study of feeling that your path through life has been decided by forces not under your control. It also is an outstanding example of how a family name gives you a pass on many things. That said, John McCain rose above that when he was a POW and placed the good of the whole above himself and became a true hero, as did all of the other prisoners.
I fest wrote this review several years ago and decided to add a note co
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
Dave Mevis
Oct 26, 2008 Dave Mevis rated it it was ok
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
Mar 27, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
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
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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 about John McCain...

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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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