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Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
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Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  444 ratings  ·  55 reviews
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 h ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Random House (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  444 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. There are a few people who seem odd choices... Magellan, for instance, doesn't really seem to have had the character qualities I'd want to emulate... and yet even those examples show how truly our character is our destiny. I think this would be an excellent book for a young teenager, but I found it tremendously riveting as an adult. There are many stories which I'd never heard, or heard only very little about, that are truly fascinating and worth knowing. I'd recommend ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Book of Short Stories

I think that John Mccain wrote an O.K. book, but it does not appeal to me directly. Some of the stories were interesting, and were about famous people. However, most of the stories were not good and were not interesting. The problem is that he wrote a bunch of true short stories. If Mccain were a smarter writer, he would have made it all about one fictitious person, who showed all the attributes he believed in. Also, it seems that the co-author was the person who wrote the b
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A series of essays about people who have exhibited grand character in various walks of life. Winston Churchhill, Sojourner Truth, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, and Thomas More are among the many individuals who exhibit great character. McCain, with the help of Salter, help us remember what each of these people bring to us in terms of their character. Written simply and effectively. McCain also gives an account of his years in a Vietnam prison, with praises for the men who endured. I enjoyed reading this ...more
Jason D'Souza
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got to see Rome's stadium where the fastest runners in the world would compete for gold medals, fame and immortality in the 60's Olympics.
It was in this book that I learned in the year 1940, of a little black girl born in Tennessee, weighing 4 pounds. Her parents were poor, working many jobs to survive, in a segregated south. Little Wilma wasn't expected to live long, born the 20th child in the family. She was chronically ill and in bed sick, with measles, mumps, whooping couch, chicken pox,
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is not about John McCain or his politics. It contains biographies of people with great character, some of which are very famous, (Ghandi, Joan of Arc) and some which might not be as well known. (Edith Cadwell, Romeo Dallaire, Tecumseh, Aung San Suu Kyi). I loved all the details and the way each person is celebrated for their strengths and values. I only gave it three stars because the writing is just not very good. However it's not horrible and I still have found myself re-reading some ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a really interesting book. John had people in here that are of course very famous to the not so famous.

I loved reading about the back stories of the famous people, many of whom I did not know all the details about in their lives.

The not so famous ones were great also.

Overall, these stories were very inspiring and I feel he made the subtitle of his book the perfect one. "Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember". Now, will I remember all of these?
Sep 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book was a real joy to read. It is a compilation of short stories about famous people around the world. It showed their great character and fortitude. I learned so much more about these great people. The “Subtext” to the Title is “Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember”. I certainly echo these words! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves great examples of conquest in the face of trials.
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Believe in character vs destiny, examples of Thomas Moore, Ernest Shackleton, Mother Teresa, Victor Frankel, Tillie-the whole world turned on love, Pat Tillman, learn more from one bad decision than many right, John Wooten, explain demo correct repeat, Edith Gavel, Abe Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Osceola McCarty, Tecumseh, Ted Roosevelt and rooting out corruption and mistrusted compromise, it's about living a Virtuous life--a benefit of schools.
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book educates the reader about people who lived significant lives. I like this book because I was unaware of the details of many of these famous people. I can't help but know of Mother Teresa or TR or Lincoln for example but significant facts unknown to me were highlighted and were fascinating. I hope to read biographies on some of the individuals profiled in this book.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: McCain fans
Somewhat disappointing, but glad I read it. The stories of historical figures and their values and strengths was a good review and reminder that I need to be working on some of those things myself.

Other than that, little substance. Was hoping for more hope and inspiration from a presidential candidate.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened
Each chapter is comprised of an account of an inspirational person. From Gandhi to Pat Tillman... Wide scope, but well written. I picked up the audiobook thinking it was going to be about John McCain, but it wasn't. It was better. I am still listening...

I finished listening. It was a great set of stories!
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An anthology of 40 characters, each unique, each fascinating, each an incredible example to follow (less Magellan perhaps). As John McCain writes up front, this is a book for young and old alike. I absolutely loved this book and hope my children will as well. I half read and half listened; transiting between hard copy and audible book. The narrator for the audible version is outstanding.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book of short stories. We have used this book as a parent tool. We have made our boys read stories for transgressions and write an essay as part of their punishments hoping to instill values and morals. It has stopped and made them think about making good decisions, as well as the importance of sticking to what they believe in.
Judy Wyndham
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great book with a number of different stories about people in history and why they are remembered - some are famous some are not. My suggestion is that every family get this book on cd and listen to it on car trips. It can be easily shut off after each chapter for a good discussion with the children.
Narrated by Arthur Morey. The Arizona senator has compiled essays about famous and not-so-famous people, past and present, whose inspirational lives exemplified the best of human spirit, unselfishness, ethics, justice and righteousness. The diverse profiles include Osceola McCarty, Gandhi, Teddy Roosevelt, Magellan, Joan of Arc, Wilma Rudolph, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci...
Rachel Kaufman
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such an inspirational book. A little slow, but worth it to give the individual stories a little time to seep in. Even the people I've heard of, I learned so much more. Not a political piece. A little religious, but not in a heavy-handed way. A good pick-me-up when you're feeling like everything around you is so negative!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
We are reading this book aloud as a family. Senator McCain presents stories of well-known figures in history, as well as not-so-well known -- each an example of an admirable character trait. The stories are different and moving, and Senator McCain writes beautifully. My boys, ages 11 and 14, have learned a lot, and look forward to reading this book together.
May 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Enjoyable brief biographies of some interesting people - my favorite in this selection is Victor Frankle. Mr. McCain probably didn't have so much to do with the writing, but that shouldn't take away from the value of these stories.
Erin Mcguigan
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I actually listened to this one versus reading it. I thought it was great but John McCain wasn't the person who should have been reading it to be recorded. I think I'd have liked it even better if I'd "read" it versus "listened" to it.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really like this book, from a totally nonpolitical standpoint. The stories are well written and intended for children and adults to share together. I read this with a kid I used to nanny for and it was a great bonding time! Plus, we talked about how to be a hero everyday. Definitely a great read!
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of your political leanings, this book is great! It is about 40 different people from history that McCain feels exhibited great character. I truly agree that these are the stories our kids should be learning about and we should keep in mind as we teach them. Loved it!
Brandon Bernardoni
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at the many little vignettes Mr. McCain did through these profiles of character. I was pleasantly encouraged by hearing these stories of people from all races, creeds, beliefs, and both genders. A good read, quick and encouraging.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The people John McCain chose to highlight were fairly obvious good choices from history. The short biographies of each were good to hear again. The telling and the lessons in character sounded a little heavy handed.
Sep 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Younger readers
Great collection of stories about inspiring individuals; written more for the younger reader.
Eric Nelson
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-but-unowned
Great read. Wonderful profiles. The title is so right; some great profiles of people I never heard of but should have known in detail. Very inspirational.
Melissa Judd
I think every person young and old should read this book. An excellent read.
Janet G
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Inspirational stories motivated me to DO better in my life. A pick up-put down book. Always like one of those around
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Work is the way my ideals will be accomplished.
Marissa  Pineda
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Bite sized biographies of some of the most moral, courageous people that live (or lived). A good read when you're feeling discouraged or annoyed with the state of things in life/society/etc.
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a five purely because of the introduction. It was truly inspiring
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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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