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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best seller. 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, listeners 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. 

©2004 John McCain (P)2004 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"One of McCain's greatest strengths as a writer has been that he doesn't sound like just another politician." (Publishers Weekly)

"[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)

What listeners say about Why Courage Matters

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brad
  • 04-11-2004

Great Read with no Politics

If you are worried that this selection is going to generate into some sort of political diatribe or some thinly disguised effort by McCain to take on the mantle of a courageous person, you can rest easy.

McCain attacks the subject matter in a straightforward manner in a way that makes you believe that he, himself, has asked the very same questions about courage and has searched often and deep for the answers.

The real stories regarding heroic and courageous performance by others are gripping and were easily the highlight of the book for me.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Benedict
  • 27-04-2004

A book to read

This is a very good discussion on the subject of courage. Is courage only a soldier's consideration? Is courage standing up to make your first speech? I found my level of courage from reading this book. My respect for John McCain puts him at the top of all our Senators. Ben

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KarenW
  • 22-11-2018

Courage DOES Matter

I truly believe this book should be on the required reading list for all military personnel, from the Private up to the General. John McCain and Mark Salter are once again a dynamic due of writing with this book. As a retired Army Officer, a Registered Nurse, and a Secular Franciscan, I have been constantly placed in situations where it came down to my having the courage to advocate for someone or myself, to adhere to what is the right thing to do- and to do the thing right, and to be a true leader for others and not just someone in a leadership position. Senator McCain is one our most visible and courageous models of why courage does matter....A LOT. He shares his life experiences in many situations in which he was called to muster up all the courage he could find within himself to endure hardship as well as to enjoy the good times and share it with others. I enjoy reading Senator McCain's books because he makes it an adventure for me and he is a great story teller. I especially love when he has narrated his own books. When he is not doing that, Folks like Dan Cashman bring their A-game and bring the book alive. Senator McCain may be physically gone, but his spirit lives on this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dennis Larocque
  • 10-12-2019

a great One by McCain

another great book by John McCain. the anecdotes and story's he uses while discussion courage are wonderful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay W.
  • 24-09-2018

Stories of Courage

Very good stories of courage. I believe you can train and prepare yourself to be courageous. And it happen spontaneously...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 21-09-2004

Sorry, confusing

The stories were good. The courage part did not come over well in audible form. This is no more than 3 stars (good)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Leerkkee
  • 14-01-2005

A waste of money

This is a great book if you are a man who loves war and thinks that courage is only about acts of war.

Courage is not only a ?man? thing and it is not only an ?American? thing.

The title should read ?Why War Matters?.

2 people found this helpful

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