Synopses & Reviews
John McCain and Mark Salter have written three acclaimed bestsellers, but Character Is Destiny
may be their most influential and enduring book yet–a work for parents to share with their children, and, for Americans of all ages to read for inspiration and guidance.
McCain has been called “one of the most inspiring public figures of his generation” by The Washington Post. In Character Is Destiny, he shows us why, by telling the stories of celebrated historical figures and lesser-known heroes whose values exemplify the best of the human spirit. He illustrates these qualities with moving stories of triumph against the odds, righteousness in the face of iniquity, hope in adversity, and sacrifices for a cause greater than self-interest.
In Character Is Destiny we meet:
• Pat Tillman, whose patriotism obliged him to leave the riches and celebrity of the NFL for a soldier’s life in defense of his country
• Empress Theodora of Byzantium, whose courage shamed her husband and his court into defending their faith and civilization
• Winston Churchill, who, in a renowned eighteen-word remark, counseled schoolboys to “never give up”
• the Catholic priest in Auschwitz who offered to take a condemned man’s place
• a nun, formerly a comfortable Beverly Hills housewife, who works with prisoners in Mexico’s worst jails
• George Washington, whose wisdom and hard-earned self-control helped him survive the chaos of war.
These are just a few of the heroes of exemplary character whose portraits McCain offers here. With Character Is Destiny, John McCain interprets Shakespeare’s immortal advice, “To thine own self be true,” as an eloquent restatement of the golden rule and the very definition of integrity. The tributes he pays here to men and women who have lived truthfully will stir the hearts of young and old alike, and help prepare us for the hard work of choosing our destiny.
"As in last year's Why Courage Matters, McCain's latest volume uses biography as an illustration of virtue, but this time the senator broadens his palette significantly, telling 34 stories of heroes whose lives embody qualities ranging from honesty and loyalty to curiosity and enthusiasm. At the root of them all, he says, is a willingness to stay true to one's conscience against all challenges. Thus martyrs appear prominently, from Thomas More and Joan of Arc to Edith Cavell and Father Maximilian Kolbe, as do military heroes, including Pat Tillman, the pro football player whose love of country led him to enlist in the army shortly after 9/11. But the pantheon is inclusive enough to hold Aung San Suu Kyi and Gandhi alongside Churchill and Eisenhower. Although he is reaching out to a younger readership, McCain's plain but sincere language does not condescend to his audience. He makes occasional oblique references to his experiences as a prisoner of war describing, for example, how they reinforce his understanding of Victor Frankl's concept of dignity but the only chapter centered on his ordeal highlights a furtive moment of kindness from a Vietnamese soldier. Amid much speculation concerning his plans for 2008, McCain has made a declaration of values that liberals can embrace as readily as conservatives. Agent, Flip Brophy. (Nov. 1)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In Character is Destiny, McCain tells the stories of celebrated historical figures and lesser-known heroes whose values exemplify the best of the human spirit. He illustrates these qualities with moving stories of triumph against the odds, righteousness in the face of iniquity, hope in adversity, and sacrifices for a cause greater than self-interest. The tributes he pays here to men and women who have lived truthfully will stir the hearts of young and old alike, and help prepare us for the hard work of choosing our destiny.
About the Author
After a career in the U.S. Navy and two terms as a U.S. representative, John McCain
was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 and reelected in 1992 and 1998. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mark Salter has worked on Senator McCain’s staff for more than fifteen years and is the co-author with McCain of Faith of My Fathers, Worth the Fighting For, and Why Courage Matters. Hired as a legislative assistant in 1989, Salter has served as the senator’s administrative assistant for more than a decade. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Diane, and their two daughters.