Tuesday, April 15, 2008

John McCain's Book: Faith of Our Fathers

My contribution to the McCain campaign is that I bought two of John McCain’s books at the local Border’s Bookstore. The one I’m reading first is called “Faith of My Fathers”. Mark Salters is co-author and the book jacket says he’s been with McCain since 1989. I’ve always wondered how much writing is done by the principal and how much by the co-author but the important thing is that you can clearly hear McCain’s voice throughout the pages. I’m sure Salters contributed much to the enterprise but the tone and style are distinctly McCain.

I’ve only read about 100 pages so far and would describe the earlier pages as dry, historical, interesting, and astute. The writers are, after all, referring to the naval careers of McCain’s father and grandfathers, both of whom illustriously served in time of war, both of whom had achieved the rank of admiral. These early pages also recount some of the dramatic sea battles of WWII, such as the battles for Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf. The navy culture is revealed from the inside. These accounts do not suffer from a lack of embellishment. On the contrary, the writers focus on the temporal faults and vices of the book’s subjects. The McCain ancestors had a tendency to excess in matters of honor and vice. McCain’s forebears gambled, cursed, smoked cigars, drank whiskey, kept their word and went to church with their wives.

The book becomes lively and personal as the young John McCain grows up in the naval universe, uprooted often, and inclined toward youthful rebellion. We’ll have more of that later….

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