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Extended Audio Sample Faith of My Fathers Audiobook, by John McCain Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 5 4.11 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John McCain, Mark Salter Narrator: John McCain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9780739370667
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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. 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 US Navy. This is a memoir about their lives, their heroism, and the ways that sons are shaped and enriched by their fathers.

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 he led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II.

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 US 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 US 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Faith of My Fathers is a gripping story of character and courage: character passed down from generation to generation by sterling examples of family bonds and devotion to duty; courage that ultimately comes from within, as John McCain learned in the brutual prison camps of North Vietnam. This is a sobering and glorious book that you won’t be able to put down.”

    Colin L. Powell

  • Faith of My Fathers is the powerful story of a war hero. In it we learn much of what matters most. As prisoner (and later senator) McCain instructs us: Glory is not an end in itself, but rather a reward for valor and faith. And the greatest freedom and human fulfillment comes from engaging in a noble enterprise larger than oneself. Faith of My Fathers teaches deep truths that are valid in any age but that warrant special attention in our own.”

    William J. Bennett

  • “A complete and compelling memoir of individual heroism—one that will interest both political and military history buffs.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “McCain’s memoir is too good to be dismissed as simply another campaign book. It is a serious, utterly engrossing account of faith, fathers and military tradition.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A candid, moving, and entertaining memoir…Impressive and inspiring, the story of a man touched and molded by fire, who loved and served his country in a time of great trouble, suffering, and challenge.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Quinn | 2/17/2014

    " gave me a hero "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi Simpson | 1/29/2014

    " I am probably a little biased on this book because as an Arizona native, I have so much admiration for John McCain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 1/26/2014

    " Good overview of the Mc Cain Family and their collective contribution to America and its military efforts of WWII. Additionally insiteful to the Viet Nam War and captivity of Senator Mc Cain as well as those he came to respect and hold on contempt. A good smooth read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/24/2014

    " 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 claimed to be perfect). When he say's it's "country first" he means it. Senator McCain has lived a thousand lives in one, I'd love to sit and talk with him one day. Until I read this book, I had no idea of his long line of family members who were high ranking soldiers. While it's sad to read about the torture and inhumane treatment of the POW's it helped open my eyes and made me really think about our freedoms (big and small) and how they don't come easy. I am so grateful to the military families who sacrifice SO much for our country and I am so glad John McCain wrote this book. My boys have always been obsessed with anything military and I've worried that one of them will join one day...now I know if that day ever comes, I'll be proud and supportive and have fiath in God. This is a book I will ponder for a long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelli | 1/17/2014

    " Amazing. Very inspiring. I was fortunate enough to have a letter I had written to him telling him how I felt about the book hand delivered to him. He responded with class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 1/16/2014

    " Includes VIVID recollections of his five years as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, and the details of the torture he and his fellow prisoners endured. Some of the most inspiring true stories I have ever heard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ninja Pope | 1/14/2014

    " This is an inspirational book!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam Lucas | 11/29/2013

    " Good book about a very interesting man. My only complaint is that he puts a lot of spin on his life story and if sometimes feels like he is trying to tell you how to feel about his stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn Bardo | 10/6/2013

    " Quite engaging book. I have shed tears atleast thrice! Highly recommended to those who love military memoirs and patriotic fellows. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Catherine | 7/18/2013

    " Whatever your politics, this is an exceptional book about courage; where conviction and strength of character endure against all odds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 6/25/2013

    " Very good read. Amazing how he survived and stayed a productive member of society. Slow to start but worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 6/19/2013

    " Very interesting account of John McCain's Navy father, grandfather life and years as POW. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brent | 5/21/2013

    " True American hero, this book is difficult to put down once you get through the first few chapters. Insightful and a quick read. Wasn't going to win a Pulitzer, but it is well written. This book will help you understand your choice for President. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 2/17/2013

    " Excellent account by John McCain of his time as a Vietnamese POW, his personal triumphs and the other POW's who shaped his life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hung | 2/12/2013

    " Interesting account of McCain about Hanoi's prison. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lin-lin | 9/18/2012

    " The first few chapters were a little slow to read (his grandfather's life and then his father's life); however, it got more interesting once it got to his own life. It's amazing that someone who goes through what he went through as a POW is able to remain mentally sane afterwards! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina Trivelli | 6/9/2012

    " I'm partial to McCain, don't mind me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron Bryan | 5/4/2012

    " Having served in Viet Nam and tended to the wounded injured and sick and seen the apathy about this war, this book helps the healing and in my mind made it worth the time spend there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darrel | 4/29/2011

    " good and interesting bio of McCain in his sevice years, and POW imprisonment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darrell | 4/28/2011

    " The story of Sen. John McCain and his trials and tribulations as a POW and his fathers professional reaction to the news of his son being a POW while being a senior military commander. Heart wrenching to learn the history of this politician and to see him true character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 1/12/2011

    " Political preference aside, this is an amazing story that anyone who calls themselves an American should read. This book is extremely well written, you'll be hanging on every word. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginni | 1/2/2011

    " Regardless of your politics, this man is truly an American hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 11/14/2010

    " The narrative at times seemed to wonder, or jump across extensive periods of time, but it is a powerful description of Senator McCain's experiences, and an interesting and personal recounting of aspects of his father and grandfather's lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 9/22/2010

    " Good book about a very interesting man. My only complaint is that he puts a lot of spin on his life story and if sometimes feels like he is trying to tell you how to feel about his stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Catherine | 5/18/2010

    " Whatever your politics, this is an exceptional book about courage; where conviction and strength of character endure against all odds. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rhys | 2/12/2010

    " Acquired after a dedication of the old Naval Hall [ROTC:] at Ole Miss in honor of McCain's father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanie | 1/27/2010

    " Very good book. The writing is pretty clear and the storyline, although slow at times, is very interesting. There was a little too much "military" in the beginning so I admit I skipped to the middle/end. Good book though. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in John McCain. "

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About the Author
Author John McCain

John McCain was elected to the US Senate in 1986 and was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. McCain graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1958 and received numerous honors and medals for his service. During his military career he received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir. His other works include Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life, Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions, and Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Phoenix, Arizona.