Faith of My Fathers Study Guide

Faith of My Fathers

Faith of My Fathers by John McCain

Faith of My Fathers Book Summary

Slew McCain commanded the aircraft carriers of Task Force 38 in the Pacific War in late 1944 and 1945, ultimately having 15 carriers and 8 battleships, plus their escorts, under his control for operations against Japan in July 1945. Jack McCain was a submariner in the U.S. Navy during the Pacific War, and later rose to four star rank and became Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC), commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater from 1968 to 1972. John McCain writes forthrightly of his rebellious and misspent youth, and his conflicts about following in his forefathers' steps.

The centerpiece of Faith of My Fathers is a lengthy account of McCain's five and half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnamese camps, of the torturing and suffering he and his fellow prisoners endured, and the various kinds of faith that enabled him to carry on through the ordeal. It describes the injuries he sustained during his shoot-down and imprisonment, and the origin of why he cannot lift his arms above his shoulders. The book concludes with the release from captivity of him and the other POWs in 1973.

The following passage explains the book's title:

Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles. No misfortune, no injury, no humiliation can destroy it. This is the faith that my commanders affirmed, that my brothers-in-arms encouraged my allegiance to… It was my father and grandfather's faith. A filthy, broken man, all I had left of my dignity was the faith of my fathers. It was enough.

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