NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Senator John McCain tells the story of his great American journey, from the U.S. Navy to his electrifying campaign for the presidency in 2000, interwoven with heartfelt portraits of the mavericks who have inspired him through the years.
After five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, naval aviator John McCain returned home a changed man. Regaining his health and flight-eligibility status, he resumed his military career, commanding carrier pilots and serving as the navy’s liaison to what is sometimes ironically called the world’s most exclusive club, the United States Senate. Accompanying Senators John Tower and Henry “Scoop” Jackson on international trips, McCain began his political education in the company of two masters, leaders whose standards he would strive to maintain upon his election to the U.S. Congress. There, he learned valuable lessons in cooperation from a good-humored congressman from the other party, Morris Udall. In 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate, inheriting the seat of another role model, Barry Goldwater.
During his time in public office, McCain has seen acts of principle and acts of craven self-interest. He describes both extremes in these pages, with his characteristic straight talk and humor. He writes honestly of the lowest point in his career, the Keating Five savings and loan debacle, as well as his triumphant moments—his return to Vietnam and his efforts to normalize relations between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments; his fight for campaign finance reform; and his galvanizing bid for the presidency in 2000.
Writes McCain: “A rebel without a cause is just a punk. Whatever you’re called—rebel, unorthodox, nonconformist, radical—it’s all self-indulgence without a good cause to give your life meaning.” This is the story of McCain’s causes, the people who made him do it, and the meaning he found. Worth the Fighting For reminds us of what’s best in America, and in ourselves.
Praise for Worth the Fighting For
“When [John] McCain writes of people and patriotism, his pages shine with a devotion, a loving awe, that makes Worth the Fighting For worth the shelling out for. . . . McCain the man remains one of the most inspiring public figures of his generation.”—Jonathan Raunch, The Washington Post
“[An] unpredictable, outspoken memoir . . . a testimonial to heroism from someone who has first-hand knowledge of what it takes.”—The New York Times
John McCain is a United States senator from Arizona. He retired from the navy as a captain in 1981, and was first elected to Congress in 1982. He is currently serving his third term in the Senate. He and his wife, Cindy, live with their children in Phoenix, Arizona. With Mark Salter, he is at work on his third book, about courage, which Random House will publish in the fall of 2003.
Mark Salter has worked on Senator McCain’s staff for thirteen years and is the co-author of Faith of My Fathers. Hired as a legislative assistant in 1989, he has served as the senator’s administrative assistant since 1993. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Diane, and their two daughters.