Why Courage Matters

Version: Abridged
Author: John McCain , Mark Salter
Narrator: John McCain
Genres: Self Development, Health & Wellness
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: April 2004
# of Units: 2 CDs
Length: 2 hours
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this inspiring meditation on courage, Senator John McCain 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.

Praise for Why Courage Matters

“[John] McCain the man remains one of the most inspiring public figures of his generation.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Thrilling . . . John McCain’s profiles in courage offer inspiration. . . . A marvelous collection of stories featuring honest-to-God heroes.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Extraordinary . . . McCain proves how courage can change lives and improve the world.”—New York Daily News

“[McCain] is open and candid, a refuge from spin and arrogance.”—The Washington Post

“Wise words from a man who personifies courage.”—The Sunday Oklahoman

Reviews (3)

Why Courage Matters

Written by Anonymous on December 27th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

It is no wonder he didn't win the election. This book was not at all what I expected. It is not well written and the author shouldn't have narrated it either. This book helped me decide NOT to vote for him in the election.

Must Read

Written by Andy on July 29th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A must read, Please read O'Bama's Audacity of Hope also and it will provide a good contrast in how the two individually feel about the world and how to solve problems. John reinforces the belief in the individual and that they can overcome any odds if the will is strong enough.

Why Courage Matters

Written by Jennifer P on February 14th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I requested this book to learn more about John McCain. I have heard about his courage under extremely horrible circumstances and I am impressed with both his humility and how he honors those who he admires. The detailed description of war was more than I cared to hear. Too Much. Overall, it did impress and inspire me just knowing about the courage and conviction of these incredible people.

Author Details

Author Details

McCain, John

"Throughout his public career, John McCain has been a leader in the most critical issues facing our country. He has waged a determined and often solitary campaign against pork barrel spending, fighting for ten years to pass a line item veto. He has been a persistent proponent of lower taxes, deregulation and free trade. He has become one of Congress' most respected voices for a strong national defense, and for sound foreign policy.

John McCain has been an outspoken advocate for the reform of government institutions, and he has fought to change campaign finance, something at which he succeeded in 2002.

John McCain was first elected to represent the state of Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. As a long time admirer of Ronald Reagan, McCain was an early foot soldier in the ""Reagan Revolution."" He served two terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 1985. He was re-elected to a third Senate term in November 1998. In that election, he received nearly 70% of the vote, a total which included 65% of the women's vote, 55% of the Hispanic vote, and even 40% of the Democrats.

Senator McCain is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and has in that capacity become a recognized leader on telecommunications and aviation issues, stressing the need to promote competition and government deregulation in the industries that are so important to the growth of the economy.

Senator McCain has received numerous awards in addition to the Paul H. Douglas Ethics in Government award, which he received with Senator Russ Feingold for his efforts at campaign finance reform. In 1997, he was named one of the ""25 Most Influential People in America"" by Time magazine.

The son and grandson of prominent Navy admirals, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1958, McCain began a twenty-two year career as a naval aviator. In 1967, he was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner-of-war in Hanoi for five and a half years (1967-1973), much of it in solitary confinement. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1981. McCain's naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.

John McCain tells what he learned about life and honor from his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy, in his best-selling family memoir, ""Faith of My Fathers."" The book, detailing McCain's early life and military career, spent 24 weeks on the New York Times ""Best Sellers"" list.

Senator McCain has seven children and four grandchildren. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Phoenix."

Salter, Mark

Jonathan Bousfield is an experienced freelance writer and author of Rough Guides to Croatia, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Austria and a regular contributor to the Rough Guide to Europe.