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Download Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life Audiobook, by John McCain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 5 3.82 (11 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: April 2004 ISBN: 9780739306635
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“Courage,” Winston Churchill explained, is “the first of human qualities . . . because it guarantees all the others.” As a naval officer, P.O.W., and one of America’s most admired political leaders, John McCain has seen countless acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. Now, in this inspiring meditation on courage, he shares his most cherished stories of ordinary individuals who have risked everything to defend the people and principles they hold most dear.

“We are taught to understand, correctly, that courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity for action despite our fears,” McCain reminds us, as a way of introducing the stories of figures both famous and obscure that he finds most compelling—from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Sgt. Roy Benavidez, who ignored his own well-being to rescue eight of his men from an ambush in the Vietnam jungle; from 1960s civil rights leader John Lewis, who wrote, “When I care about something, I’m prepared to take the long, hard road,” to Hannah Senesh, who, in protecting her comrades in the Hungarian resistance against Hitler’s SS, chose a martyr’s death over a despot’s mercy.

These are some of the examples McCain turns to for inspiration and offers to others to help them summon the resolve to be both good and great. He explains the value of courage in both everyday actions and extraordinary feats. We learn why moral principles and physical courage are often not distinct quantities but two sides of the same coin. Most of all, readers discover how sometimes simply setting the right example can be the ultimate act of courage.

Written by one of our most respected public figures, Why Courage Matters is that rare book with a message both timely and timeless. This is a work for anyone seeking to understand how the mystery and gift of courage can empower us and change our lives.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • McCain the man remains one of the most inspiring public ?gures of his generation. The Washington Post Book World
  • From Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life
  • We’re all afraid of something. Some have more fears than others. The one we must all guard against is the fear of ourselves. Don’t let the sensation of fear convince you that you’re too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not proof of cowardice. No one is born a coward. We were meant to love. And we were meant to have courage for it. So be brave. The rest is easy.”

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 8/8/2010

    " This is book that everyone should read. It is a collection of story of courage that chronicles not just the good but the cost that some people pay for leading a courageous life. I carry this book with me every where I happen to go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 7/23/2010

    " McCain needs to hire a ghost writer. Seriously. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee T. | 1/4/2010

    " Profiles in courage from "A Man Who Knows." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dennis | 9/10/2009

    " Good inspirational individual stories of courage interspersed with difficult to follow philosophical dialog. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casey | 3/28/2009

    " I really loved this book and think every person should read this. It really allowed me to look at life differently and to be brave! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 3/3/2009

    " This was a wonderful, uplifting book. Everyone should read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Golddigger1799 | 1/17/2009

    " Makes you feel like a wussy. Sometimes it drug on a little bit, but it had some amazing stories of courage. It is pretty much entirely anecdotal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 9/26/2008

    " From a leader of the past and one of the future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 9/2/2008

    " Not as good as Worth the Fighting For, but offers some remarkable stories of courage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nor | 8/14/2008

    " This book had some amazing war stories by true American heroes. McCain's thoughts were a bit unorganized and scattered, but I was able to pull a few gems from the book nonetheless. A good read. Inspired me to be better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AJ | 7/17/2008

    " I actually didn't finish this book, but it was due back to the library and I had gotten the gist of it. It wasn't super engaging, but it was interesting. And there were some great uplifting stories of courage. "

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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.