Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Faith of My Fathers- A Family Memoir by John McCain

Today, I watched an amazingly inspiring movie- The Faith of My Fathers- A Family Memoir which is based on best-selling memoir (I've told you i love reading autobios!) by John McCain. Books by politicians are not often worth reading, but John McCain's Faith of My Fathers is an astonishing exception to the rule. The Republican senator from Arizona has a remarkable story to tell--better than just about any of his peers--and he tells it well, with crisp prose and an unexpected sense for narrative pacing. The beginning of the movie concerns his naval forbears: his grandfather commanded an aircraft carrier in the Second World War, while his father presided over all naval forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. They were the first father-son admirals in American history. Young John McCain knew he had enormous shoes to fill and rebelled against many of the expectations set for him. At the Naval Academy, he was nearly expelled, graduating fifth from the bottom of his class. He never became an admiral, but achieved fame another way: as a naval aviator in 1967, he was shot down over North Vietnam and spent several years in POW camps (McCain is famous for the five years he endured as a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton, the most notorious POW camp in Vietnam), where he was beaten, tortured, and nearly allowed to die (it was so horrific to see how war prisoners were tortured). McCain describes the awful details of his imprisonment and tells how he stayed mentally strong during seemingly endless months of solitary confinement and how he communicated in code with fellow captives. Faith of My Fathers concludes with McCain's release and contains no information about his subsequent political career, which is to me is good coz I have more interests in his life story as a war prisoner rather than being a political leader. It is, nonetheless, a complete and compelling memoir of individual heroism. The faith McCain avows is a simple one: "in God, country, and each other". I'm definitely gonna get this book at Kinokuniya.
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