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The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,948 ratings  ·  532 reviews
In this candid new political memoir from Senator John McCain, an American hero reflects on his life—and what matters most.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this. My predicament is, well, ra
Hardcover, First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition May 2018, 416 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 20th 2018)
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Diane S ☔
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I didn't grow up in a political household, politics, world views were rarely discussed. At least not in front of us children. Remember my mom swooning over the Kennedy's like many parents. That may be why I don't really affiliate with any political party. I tend to vote the issues and the person, their characters, their experience. In this way over the years I have come to admire John McCain. I didn't agree with all his views, all his stances, but I did recognize his grace, his strength, his int ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a memoir. He didn't shit on anyone and he didn't do a tell all. He wrote about his experiences around the world, he had nice things to say about Sarah Palin, he had not very nice things to say about Obama's decisions (understandable), and not very much to say about Trump (surprising). If you were a fan of John McCain then you will enjoy this book. I was a Republican since the 1970's until 2000 (then I became a Democrat) and I loved McCain until he made Palin his VP pick in 2007, but after ...more
I do believe that John McCain has managed to put these two sentences together in his 'Farewell Speech' without the slightest trace of irony.

"We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process."

From the horse's mouth.
Donald Powell
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
John McCain is truly a great man and a true American Hero in many realms. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his thoughts, his approach and his urgent plea for principles above personalities. His vision of governance is amazingly aligned with the founders and other great political thinkers. As a student governance in my sixth decade I can unequivocally say John McCain has the voice we should all hear. Politicians and citizens need to read this book and internalize it, act in accordance and preach it l ...more
I listened to this one. It had an introduction and Epilogue read by John McCain, and the chapters were read by Beau Bridges, who was very good. Jeff Bridges would have been good too, just saying. Both voices sort of remind me of McCain's raspiness.

First of all John McCain's middle name could have been "More Troops," but that rarely tainted my overall fondness of him. The memoir exemplifies his basic goodness, his deep love of country, country over party, his love of humanity including immigrant
Marc Gerstein
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love political memoirs, whether from people I agree with or disagree with, like or don’t like, voted for or voted against. Considering the arc of his life, with much to be revered even by those with differing views, I thought this would be a winner.

It is a powerful historic resource given the incredible quantity of valuable information it presents based on the first-hand experiences McCain had with so many issues of global importance. And it raises vital questions, such as whether the U.S. has
Peter Tillman
May 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, bios-memoirs
Here's an edited excerpt, published as an essay by the WSJ: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man’

"Three months later, in Putin’s first weeks as prime minister [1999], bomb explosions destroyed apartment buildings in three Russian cities, including Moscow. Putin used the incident as grounds for starting a second Chechen war and ordered the bombing of Grozny, Chechnya’s capital. The inhumanity of the Russian assault was stunning. No caution, no discrimination, no
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The book covers his campaign for presidency to the current time. I found some of his observations and comments about people such as Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Obama, both Bushes and high military command most interesting. Toward the end of the book he also had some comments about Trump. In this book what came through to me loud and clear was that McCain’s priority is the country and all else is secondary. Prior to reading this book I had read “Faith ...more
Deb Jones
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Politically speaking, John McCain and I have often been on opposite sides of the fence. That has not kept me from appreciating what an intelligent and dedicated man he is. Having read The Restless Wave, I feel solid in that conviction in addition to realizing his great love for the United States and all her people.

McCain has penned a biography that brings a back story to selected periods/ventures from his run for the presidency in 2008 to his strong feelings about the need for torture methods to
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations by John McCain and Mark Salter

“The Restless Wave” is a candid yet surprisingly understated political memoir from John McCain. No matter what side you are on the political spectrum, McCain’s love of country is undeniable and shines through in what is most likely his last swan song. This frank 416-page book includes the following ten chapters: 1. No Surrender, 2. Country First, 3. About Us, 4. In the Company of Heroe
Sherry Sharpnack
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Here he lies where he longs to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”
“Requiem” Robert L. Stevenson

I assume this verse will be on John McCain’s tombstone, b/c it is so apt. Senator McCain served Arizona in the US Senate for 30 years, in the House for one term before that, and served his country in the US Navy for 25 years, over five of it as a “guest” in North Vietnam’s torture house, the Hanoi Hilton. McCain is a brave, outspoken -often bluntly so - old-scho
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio—John McCain reads the prologue and epilogue while Beau Bridges reads the rest. I’ve been a fan of McCain’s for many years and was disappointed when he chose Palin for his running mate, a decision he talks about in the book. He has nothing but nice things to say about her. But he admits that he didn’t “go with his gut” when he was talked out of asking his long time friend Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat and now Independent, to be his Vice President. Wo ...more
This book has been on my “To Read” list since I first found out it was going to be published. Last week, when I saw that McCain was stopping his cancer treatment, I knew it was time to borrow a copy, because he was not going to be long for this world. I’ve known a lot of people with this type of cancer, and it doesn’t matter who you are, the odds of surviving this longer than about 18 months, are very slim.

As you begin to read McCain’s story, you might think this is a political ploy for him to g
I'm mostly neutral about John McCain. I'm neither part of the fan club that acts like he's a saint nor the haters who act like he's the Anti-Christ. (That's most likely be the guy in the Oval office right now.)
I probably would not have voted for him had he run again -- and I refused to vote for him when he had that imbecilic Palin on his ticket -- but I think he would have made a decent President. So I came at this book willing to see what he had to say, hoping he would explain a few of his mor
Joseph Sciuto
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Senator John McCain has been my political hero for over a quarter of a century. In early November, 2000, I stopped off at an early voting place in Beverly Hills before driving to the airport to go visit my great friend, Frank, in Spain. I waited, with my wife, for a long time in a very long line. After we finally got to vote, my lovely wife asked me, "So who did I vote for?"I replied, I wrote in John McCain's name because neither of the two men on the ballot deserved to be president, in my opini ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
McCain really grabbed me and drew me in with his passion and his patriotism. I didn’t agree with all his positions, but I respect him tremendously for the courage of his convictions. I read the book before he passed away and his death hit me harder as a result. The book was more philosophical than I expected, less good-ol-boy and more good causes. McCain was an indefatigable champion of human rights around the world. I learned so much as he led me through country after country where he spent thi ...more
Amber Spencer
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have so much respect for this man after reading this book. It was so good and he gave so many years to living what he believed.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me start with this blunt confession aka disclaimer - I am a Russian immigrant, an agnostic, and a progressive, so hopefully, I am not biased too much with my four star review, but the book is not about me - it is about John McCain by John McCain, who is a very rare breed among Republicans. He is a true patriot of his country ( as he sees it) and the one who is always willing to shake hands across the political aisle for the betterment of his country.

The book is not exactly a memoir - it is
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
It is fair for me to admit; that I rated this book potentially higher - because I liked the author. And because this work is pure John McCain!

Once again as you read - you feel that you are in a conversation with this great American hearing him - "admonish those who deserve to be admonished" and "showing great humility and gratitude" for the life he was gifted to live.

Senator McCain did not know how long he had - time is everything for someone in McCain's situation. The senator mused: “I don’t k
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading his personal thoughts and statements and reading about his experiences. However, it was way too much detailed information for me on each battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't always agree with McCain's politics, but have always respected his service to the U.S. Interesting read.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting book.... he spoke of his life in politics.
W. Whalin
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fascinating Memoir Audiobook

For many years I’ve followed the political career of John McCain. For eight years I lived in Arizona and McCain represented me as a senator in Washington. Beau Bridges read the bulk of this audiobook and I enjoyed the storytelling and information.

If you wonder about how the whole Russian investigation started, the roots are in the stories in THE RESTLESS WAVE. A wide range of stories and experiences are contained in this well-crafted memoir.

Whatever your political
Probably more like 3.5 stars.
Strange that I started this book the day that John McCain died. He WAS optimistic while he wrote this book, admitting he didn't know if he would still be alive when the book was published, but he did expect to go back to the Senate.
A pastiche of events that McCain took part in involving, Lindsay Graham, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others.
Unfortunately, he did not stick to a chronology which, when listening rather than reading, can be confusing.
One thing that c
Ethan Marstella
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so good. I walked away with a much clearer understanding of geopolitical issues that I lived through, but wasn’t old enough to grasp the complexity of; The Arab Spring, the rise of Vladimir Putin and the relations of former soviet nations, the United States use of torture, the war in Iraq, and so much more. I loved hearing from a man with a truly American view of democratic internationalism, who bases the idea of exceptionalism not in race or location, but in the values and ideals that ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holy cow, did he ever travel. I can understand why he needed fact checkers to help him with dates and places. This is a compendium of Senator McCains time in the Senate. He obviously relished and enjoyed the experience.

Apropos of the Presidents visit to Finland, Senator McCain makes no bones about mistrusting Vladimir Putin and his goals. He also mistrusts the President and his America First agenda.

This book could have made stronger with some judicious editing. It takes a bit to plow through th
Audrey Mckay
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can’t express how wonderful and heartbreaking it was to read this.
Matt Heavner
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting life - a good, broad look at the world from the view of McCain. A lot of explanation, but not an apologia. No regrets over Sara Palin. No love for Putin. Confusion about wtf is up with Trump. Interesting reflections on the Senate - with Kennedy, Udall, and others.
Pam Cipkowski
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I always like to hear what John McCain has to say, and this book is no different. A lot of political war stories here, and a heavy dose of foreign policy (which made me yawn in a few spots), all injected with his usual sarcastic wit and bravado.
Conversations about the 2008 campaign are almost quaint, with tales of old-fashioned politicking. He’s a bit hard on Obama, but also shows his respect for him as well.

I don’t have the head or the mind for foreign policy, but McCain definitively shows the
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
John McCain implies throughout this book that he is not a gifted orator like Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama or other colleagues. If this is so, the talent must lie with his co-author, Mark Salter, because every chapter soars with passionate, evocative, eye-wetting prose. One small caveat is that it appears several turns of phrase were just too good, as variations of the same pull-quote appear repeatedly, becoming more embellished with each re-telling. This is probably by design.

Although McCain allows
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John Sidney McCain III was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death. He was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the U.S. Navy. He became

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“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood” 11 likes
“We have made mistakes. We haven’t always used our power wisely. We have abused it sometimes and we’ve been arrogant. But, as often as not, we recognized those wrongs, debated them openly, and tried to do better. And the good we have done for humanity surpasses the damage caused by our errors. We have sought to make the world more stable and secure, not just our own society. We have advanced norms and rules of international relations that have benefited all. We have stood up to tyrants for mistreating their people even when they didn’t threaten us, not always, but often. We don’t steal other people’s wealth. We don’t take their land. We don’t build walls to freedom and opportunity. We tear them down. To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is unpatriotic. American nationalism isn’t the same as in other countries. It isn’t nativist or imperial or xenophobic, or it shouldn’t be. Those attachments belong with other tired dogmas that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history. We live in a land made from ideals, not blood and soil. We are custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad.” 10 likes
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