Today: Mar 27 , 2019

Release of New John McCain Book: Thirteen Soldiers

10 November 2014   Brian Rogers

Senator McCain's book tells the remarkable stories of one US soldier from each of America's 13 major military conflicts. 

This coming Tuesday, Veteran’s Day, Simon & Schuster will publish Senator McCain’s latest book, Thirteen Soldiers, written with Mark Salter. The book tells the remarkable stories of one U.S. soldier from each of America’s 13 major military conflicts – from the Revolutionary War though the Iraq War. From Simon & Schuster:

Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You’ll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton “Tony” Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians. Each account illustrates a particular aspect of war, such as Mary Rhoads, an Army reservist forever changed by an Iraqi scud missile attack during the Persian Gulf War, and Monica Lin Brown, a frontline medic in rural Afghanistan who saved several lives in an ambushed convoy. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer. 

Monday, November 17, Senator McCain will be in Tempe, Arizona doing a book signing at Changing Hands Bookstore, beginning at 7pm. Info here.

Read the press release from the publishers, Simon and Schuster.






A Personal History of Americans at War

By John McCain & Mark Salter

“Deeply personal stories that track real soldiers through conditions of trying morale….

A patriotic though unsentimental look at the major wars fought by the United States

as told through the difficult experiences of ordinary soldiers.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Inspirational accounts of 13 Americans who fought in various wars….McCain and

Salter aptly reveal humanizing moments in such theaters of cruelty.”

—Publishers Weekly

Each chapter of THIRTEEN SOLDIERS: A Personal History of Americans at War (November 11, 2014/$28.00 hardcover), by John McCain and Mark Salter, recounts the experiences of a single American soldier, sailor, airman or marine in each of the thirteen major wars our country has fought. It is an evocative history of Americans at war, told through the personal accounts of soldiers who served in conflicts ranging from the Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through these individual experiences, McCain and Salter tell the larger story of the eternal verities of war throughout American history.

As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to this subject. THIRTEEN SOLDIERS tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. “We tried not to sentimentalize the soldiers whose stories we chose for this book or their wars,” the authors write. “They have earned our admiration without embellishing what they did or the cause they served. Our obligation to honor their sacrifices was honestly incurred and should be honestly discharged.”

Here are thirteen individuals, eleven men and two women, who went to war for our country, who risked their lives and suffered, and should not be forgotten:

Joseph Plumb Martin joined the Revolutionary War at fifteen and endured great depravations and dangers fighting for his nation’s freedom.

Charles Black, a freeborn African American, fought bravely in the War of 1812 to defend his country despite its racial injustices.

Sam Chamberlain went into the Mexican-American War seeking glory, and left a string of Mexican mistresses and fallen enemies in an adventure that inspired Cormac McCarthy.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was an aristocratic idealist when the Civil War ground him and several of his Boston Brahmin peers into the Southern soil.

Edward Baker, a Buffalo soldier, fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba.

Littleton “Tony” Waller, an officer, was court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians.

Elton “Lucky” Mackin, a marine, survived the trenches of World War I in the conflict’s most dangerous job: battalion runner.

Guy Gabaldon convinced, cave by cave, some 1,500 Japanese to surrender on Saipan.

Chester “Pete” Salter fought hand-to-hand down a hill in Korea only to fight back up to retrieve the bodies of fallen comrades.

Leo Thorsness, a Vietnam POW, fought off MiGs, SAMs, and anti-aircraft fire to protect a downed American aircrew.

Mary Rhoads, an Army Reservist, was forever changed by the Persian Gulf War.

Monica Lin Brown, a front-line medic in Afghanistan, risked her life to save others in an ambush.

Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL in Iraq, would not let his brothers be killed.

From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer.  “We were not looking for thirteen stories of supermen or superwomen,” the authors say. “We wanted to write straightforward, honest accounts of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.” In THIRTEEN SOLDIERS, John McCain and Mark Salter remind us that “we owe veterans, the living and the dead, a country that remains worthy of their sacrifice. And we owe them our respect for the truth of what they did.”

 About the authors

Senator John McCain served in the United States Navy from 1954 until 1981. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and to the Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election. He is currently serving his fifth term in the Senate.

Mark Salter is the author, with John McCain, of several books, including Faith of My Fathers. He served on Senator McCain’s staff for 18 years.

About the book

Title: THIRTEEN SOLDIERS: A Personal History of Americans at War

Authors: John McCain and Mark Salter

Pub Date: November 11, 2014

Price: $28.00 hardcover

Pages: 384

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5965-4