Why Courage Matters
The Way to a Braver Life
- Religion - Inspirational
- Random House / Hardcover
- April 2004
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- From the publisher:
"Courage," Winston Churchill explained, is "the ﬁrst of human
qualities . . . because it guarantees all the others." As a naval officer,
P.O.W., and one of America's most admired political leaders, John McCain has
seen countless acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. Now, in this inspiring
meditation on courage, he 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
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.
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