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Faith of My Fathers (英語) ハードカバー – 要約, 1999/8/31

5つ星のうち4.7 365個の評価

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"The most engrossing book to appear in a long time from a presidential candidate....McCain's memoir is too good to be dismissed as simply another campaign book. It is a serious, utterly gripping account of faith, fathers, and the military."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Faith of My Fathers may also appeal to those who flocked to Saving Private Ryan and kept Brokaw's The Greatest Generation near the top of the bestseller lists." —Library Journal

"Faith of My Fathers is the powerful story of a war hero. In it we learn much of what matters most. As prisoner (and later Senator) McCain instructs us: Glory is not an end in itself, but rather a reward for valor and faith. And the greatest freedom and human fulfillment comes from engaging in a noble enterprise larger than oneself. Faith of My Fathers teaches deep truths that are valid in any age but that warrant special attention in our own." —William J. Bennett
                
"Faith of My Fathers is a gripping story of character and courage: character passed down from generation to generation by sterling examples of family bonds and devotion to duty; courage that ultimately comes from within, as John McCain learned in the brutual prison camps of North Vietnam. This is a sobering and glorious book that you won't be able to put down." —General Colin L. Powell (retired)

"A candid, moving, and entertaining memoir...Impressive and inspiring, the story of a man touched and molded by fire, who loved and served his country in a time of great trouble, suffering, and challenge."
—Kirkus Reviews

抜粋

Fifth from the Bottom

I am sure my disdainful contemporaries and disapproving instructors believed I would become a thoroughly disreputable upperclassman were I somehow to escape expulsion during my plebe year. Most of the time, my behavior only confirmed their low regard for me. For a moment, though, I came close to confounding their expectations. That moment began when I boarded the USS Hunt to begin my first-class cruise to Rio de Janeiro in June of 1957.

The Hunt was an old destroyer. It had seen better days. It seemed to me a barely floating rust bucket that should have been scrapped years before, unfit even for mothballing. But I was ignorant, a sailor's son though I was, and I overlooked the old ship's grace and sea-worthiness. I assumed the Hunt was suitable only for the mean task of giving lowly midshipmen a rustic experience of life at sea. I was wrong.

We lived in cramped quarters in the aft of the ship. We kept the hatch open to cool our quarters with the breeze blowing off the Chesapeake Bay. Once the Hunt left the bay and entered the Atlantic, the seas grew heavier and seawater washed in through the hatch. We lived in the pooled water for several days. The rough seas sent a good number of us running for the lee side to vomit. We had restricted water hours on the cruise, which meant there was only enough water to allow us to drink from the ship's water fountains during a three-hour period every day. We took saltwater showers.

We spent a third of the cruise in the engineering plant, a grim place that seemed, to the untrained eye, a disgrace. The boilers blew scorching hot air on us while we spent long hours in misery learning the mysteries of the ship's mechanics. That the ship sailed at all seemed to us a great testament to the mechanic's mates' mastery of improvisation. It was a hell of a vessel to go to sea in for the first time.

We spent another third of the cruise learning ship's navigation, and the last third on the bridge learning how to command a ship at sea.

The skipper was Lieutenant Commander Eugene Ferrell. He seemed to accord the Hunt affection far out of proportion to her virtues. More surprisingly, he seemed to have some affection for me. He expressed it in eccentric ways, but I sensed his respect for me was greater than I had lately been accustomed to receiving from officers. I appreciated it, and I liked him a lot.

I spent much of the cruise on the bridge, where the skipper would order me to take the conn. There is a real mental challenge to running a ship of that size, and I had little practical experience in the job. But I truly enjoyed it. I made more than a few mistakes, and every time I screwed up, the skipper would explode, letting loose an impressive blast of profane derision.

"Dammit, McCain, you useless bastard. Give up the conn right now. Get the hell off my bridge. I mean it, goddammit. I won't have a worthless s.o.b. at the helm of my ship. You've really screwed up this time, McCain. Get the hell out of here!"

As I began to skulk off the bridge, he would call me back. "Hold on a second. Come on back here, mister. Get over here and take the conn." And then he would begin, more calmly, to explain what I had done wrong and how the task was done properly. We would go along pleasantly until I committed my next unpardonable error, when he would unleash another string of salty oaths in despair over my unfitness for the service, only to beckon me back for a last chance to prove myself worthy of his fine ship.

It was a wonderful time. I enjoyed the whole experience. As I detected in Ferrell's outbursts his sense that I showed some promise, I worked hard not to disappoint him, and I learned the job passably well. I was rarely off his bridge for much of the cruise. No other midshipman on the Hunt was so privileged.

Inspired by the experience, I began to consider becoming an officer in the surface Navy, with the goal of someday commanding a destroyer, instead of following my grandfather into naval aviation. I told Ferrell of my intentions, and he seemed pleased. Fine gentleman that he is, he never rebuked me after I abandoned my briefly held aspirations for a destroyer command and returned to my original plan to become an aviator. Many years later, he wrote me, and recalled a chance encounter we had sometime in the early sixties. "I was surprised but pleased to see that you were wearing two stripes and a pair of gold wings. Your grandfather would have been very proud of you."

Years later, while serving as a flight instructor in Meridian, Mississippi, I realized that I had adopted, unintentionally, Lieutenant Commander Ferrell's idiosyncratic instruction technique. I took pride in the fact.

When a Navy ship at sea needs to refuel or take on supplies and mail, it must come alongside and tie up to a refueling or replenishing ship while both vessels are under way. The maneuver is difficult to execute even in the calmest seas. Most skippers attempt it cautiously, bringing their ship alongside the approaching vessel very slowly.

But the most experienced ship handlers are bolder, and pride themselves on their more daring form. They come alongside at two-thirds or full speed, much faster than the other ship. At precisely the right moment they throw the engines in reverse, and then ahead again at one-third speed. It's a spectacular thing to see when it's done right. An approximate image of the maneuver is a car traveling at sixty miles an hour as it approaches a parallel parking space; the driver slams on the brakes and pulls cleanly, without an inch to spare, into the spot.

Eugene Ferrell was a gifted ship handler, and he never considered coming alongside another ship in any other fashion, unless, of course, a green midshipman had the conn. I had watched him perform the task several times, and had admired his serene composure as he confidently gave the orders that brought the rushing Hunt abruptly but gracefully into place, moving at exactly the same speed as her sister ship. A seaman would fire a gun that shot a line to our bow. Soon the two ships, several lines now holding them in harness, would sail the ocean together for a time, never touching, but in perfect unison. It was a grand sight to behold.

One beautiful afternoon, the flagship of the destroyer division to which the Hunt was attached, flying the ensign of the commanding admiral, approached us for the purpose of replenishing the Hunt's depleted stores. Lieutenant Commander Ferrell gave me the conn, and without a trace of apprehension, bade me bring her alongside the admiral's flagship.

Ferrell told me to bring her up slowly, but offered no rebuke when I gave the order "All engines ahead two-thirds." At precisely the right moment, I ordered, "All engines back full." A few moments later, again well timed, I ordered, "All engines ahead one-third." Thrillingly and to my great relief, the Hunt slipped into place so gracefully that any observer would have thought the skipper himself, master ship handler that he was, had the conn.

Ferrell was proud of me, and I was much indebted to him. He had given me his trust, and I had had the good fortune to avoid letting him down. After the two ships were tied up, he sent a message to the admiral. "Midshipman McCain has the conn." The impressed admiral sent a message to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, informing him of my accomplishment.

Many years later I learned that Ferrell had been a student and admirer of my father's. Perhaps that explains his kindness toward me. Whatever the reason for the care he took with me, I was grateful for it. His confidence in me gave me more confidence in myself, and greater assurance that I belonged at sea than I had ever experienced in the rigid, disapproving world of the Academy. Eugene Ferrell was the man who taught me the craft of my father and grandfather. He gave me cause to love the work that they had loved. Debts such as that you incur for life. I sailed for Rio de Janeiro a more contented young man than I had ever been before.

Liberty in Rio. My imagination could not have embellished the good time we made of our nine days in port, indulging in the vices sailors are infamous for, as if we had been at sea for months instead of weeks. After some excessive drinking, nightclubbing, and little or no sleep, I had exhausted my appetite for the joys of liberty and intended to return to ship. Chuck Larson persuaded me to accompany him to a party at a grand house on Sugarloaf Mountain. There I met and began a romance with a Brazilian fashion model, and gloried in the envy of my friends.

We danced on the terrace overlooking the bay until one o'clock in the morning, when I felt her cheek was moist.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"I'll never see you again," she replied.
I told her that we would remain in town for eight more days, and that I would gladly spend as much time in her company as she would grant me. But she rebutted my every assurance with "No, I can never see you again."
"Are you engaged?"
"No."
"Look, I'm going to be down at the gate of the shipyard at
one o'clock tomorrow afternoon. I'll be there, and I want you to be
there, too."
She said nothing in reply, and an hour later she left the party with her aunt, who served as her constant companion and chaperone.

The next afternoon, I left the ship at about twelve-thirty and waited for her at the place I had designated. An hour passed, and she had not arrived. Another hour and still she had not appeared. An hour after that, I forlornly prepared to abandon all hope. Just as I was preparing to return to the ship in a state of deep despondency, she pulled up in a Mercedes with gull-wing doors. She honked the horn, and I jumped in, ecstatic.

I spent every free moment with her for the rest of my stay in Rio. She was very beautiful, stylish, and gracious—common attributes in her wealthy and socially prominent family....

登録情報

  • 出版社 : Random House; Abridged版 (1999/8/31)
  • 発売日 : 1999/8/31
  • 言語: : 英語
  • ハードカバー : 368ページ
  • ISBN-10 : 0375501916
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0375501913
  • 寸法 : 16.51 x 3.18 x 24.26 cm
  • カスタマーレビュー:
    5つ星のうち4.7 365個の評価

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