McCain's Promise

Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope
By David Foster Wallace (Trade Paperback, 2008)
Is John McCain "For Real?"

That's the question David Foster Wallace set out to explore when he first climbed aboard Senator McCain's campaign caravan in February 2000. It was a moment when Mccain was increasingly perceived as a harbinger of change, the anticandidate whose goal was "to inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest." And many young Americans were beginning to take notice.

To get at "something riveting and unspinnable and true" about John Mccain, Wallace finds he must pierce the smoke screen of spin doctors and media manipulators. And he succeeds-in a characteristically potent blast of journalistic brio that not only captures the lunatic rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign but also delivers a compelling inquiry into John McCain himself: the senator, the POW, the campaign finance reformer, the candidate, the man.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $9.99 US/$10.99 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316040532

    • On Sale Date: 06/01/2008

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Back Bay Books

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Electronic Book, Audiobook

  • Newsletter

    Don't miss updates about our authors, including book tour info and new book releases.

Is John McCain "For Real?"

That's the question David Foster Wallace set out to explore when he first climbed aboard Senator McCain's campaign caravan in February 2000. It was a moment when Mccain was increasingly perceived as a harbinger of change, the anticandidate whose goal was "to inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest." And many young Americans were beginning to take notice.

To get at "something riveting and unspinnable and true" about John Mccain, Wallace finds he must pierce the smoke screen of spin doctors and media manipulators. And he succeeds-in a characteristically potent blast of journalistic brio that not only captures the lunatic rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign but also delivers a compelling inquiry into John McCain himself: the senator, the POW, the campaign finance reformer, the candidate, the man.

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.
  • "Wallace can do sad, funny, silly, heartbreaking, and absurd with equal ease; he can even do them all at once." (New York Times).

  • "There is no writer alive more incisive and hilarious, more ruthlessly tender, when it comes to documenting the perversities of modern American life." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Subversive and hip, with a mind tuned to a different frequency, Wallace is singing a song in a key we've not heard before." (Guardian).

  • "Bracingly insightful. . . . It is as though Wallace cannot stop expecting McCain to somehow transcend the deceptions and distortions of the spin doctors and the media and remain true to himself: to the McCain who refused to leave prison in Vietnam, and whose moral character has survived an even longer confinement inside the Beltway." (New York Times Book Review).

  • "Wallace's inexperience as a campaign reporter is an advantage here, leading to unvarnished insights." (Miami Herald).

  • "Wallace's inexperience as a campaign reporter is an advantage here, leading to unvarnished insights." (Miami Herald).

  • "Wallace conveys a genuine disillusionment at the sham of the whole arrangement: the endless political posturing, the robotic news coverage. . . . At the same time, he recognizes McCain's essential magnetism. The candidate is, at least potentially, 'a real leader . . . somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.'" (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Compelling. . . . A patient and thoughtful meditation on what McCain's military past --specifically, his five-plus years as a prisoner of war -- means about his moral fiber." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

  • "Bracingly insightful." (New York Times Book Review).

  • "Wallace conveys a geniuine disillusionment at the sham of the whole arrangement: the endless political posturing, the robotic news coverage...At the same time, he recognize's McCain's essential magnetism." (Los Angeles Time Book Review).

  • "Compelling...A patient and thoughtful meditation on what McCain's military past-specifically, his five-plus years as a prisoner of war-means about his moral fiber." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

  • "Watching Wallace play his outrage meter is a little like watching John McEnroe complain about a line call. It's not always the accuracy of the claim that keeps you caring, but the hysterics with which it's expressed." (Boston Globe).

Formats

Product Details

McCain's Promise
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $9.99 US/$10.99 CAN
  • Pages: 144
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316040532
  • On Sale Date: 06/01/2008
McCain's Promise