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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In his earlier effort, Faith of My Fathers, Arizona senator John McCain wrote of growing up as the son and grandson of four-star admirals, learning a code of honor, and choosing to serve in the navy as a fighter pilot rather than a ship's officer -- an act that earned him the label of "maverick." In this second memoir, McCain writes with admiration not for his kin but his kind: the contrarians, nonconformists, and independents who, in racking up their achievements, may have ruffled feathers but stayed true to their core beliefs. Intermingled with chapters venerating his idols -- from the late Arizona congressman Morris Udall to baseball great Ted Williams to Teddy Roosevelt -- McCain and coauthor Mark Salter (a longtime McCain staffer) show how his heroes' lessons helped him emerge with his reputation intact from scrapes that would have sullied other men.
In sometimes overly intricate detail, McCain describes some of his most trying moments, instances when his integrity and his good name were called into question: when he was charged with carpetbagging during his first run for office, shortly after first moving to Arizona; when he was accused of influence peddling as part of the "Keating Five"; and when he had to confront revelations about his family's slaveowning past that came to light shortly before he lost the Republican presidential nomination to George W. Bush. While never boastful -- so innate seems McCain's humility that he would surely never be caught praising himself -- his account gives admirers even more to like about a public figure who continues to be tough to nail down. Katherine Hottinger