NEW YORK (AP) — An upcoming memoir from Sen. John McCain has taken on new meaning since he first decided to write it.
“The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations” is scheduled to come out in April, Simon & Schuster told The Associated Press on Friday. The publisher quietly signed up the book in February, without any formal announcement. In July, McCain disclosed he had been diagnosed with brain cancer and last month he said the prognosis was “very poor.”
McCain, 81, was re-elected to a sixth term in the Senate in 2016.
“This memoir will be about what matters most to him, and I hope it will be regarded as the work of an American hero,” said Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster’s flagship imprint.
The book is expected to begin in 2008, when the Arizona Republican lost to Barack Obama in the presidential election, and will include his “no-holds-barred opinions” on last year’s campaign and on current events in Washington. McCain has been a sharp critic of President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican, and was a key opponent last summer of GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this week, McCain denounced “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” remarks widely taken as criticism of Trump and such allies as former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“Candid, pragmatic, and always fascinating, John McCain holds nothing back in his latest memoir,” according to the publisher.
The memoir already has a notable change: The original title was “It’s Always Darkest Before It’s Totally Black,” an expression McCain likes to cite.
“The Restless Wave” reunites him with longtime collaborator Mark Salter and with Karp, his longtime editor. The three worked together on McCain’s million-selling “Faith of My Fathers,” which came out in 1999, and on such subsequent releases as “Worth the Fighting For” and “Why Courage Matters.”
In a recent email, Salter told the AP that there was “still a ways to go” before the book’s completion, but that McCain was “hard at it.” The original focus was “on international issues, his experiences overseas and movements and people he’s supported over the years.”
“There will still be examples of that in the book, but it will be a little more expansive and reflective about his career and life, the direction of our politics and our leadership in the world, and the causes and values that matter most to him,” Salter wrote. “The original title was an old joke he employed often over the years. But the Senator thought it was too flip for some of the subjects he now wants to address.”
For Karp, “The Restless Wave” is a poignant, painful reminder of a previous book he edited: “True Compass,” by McCain’s good friend Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. As with the McCain book, Karp signed up Kennedy’s memoir before he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Kennedy died in August 2009, just weeks before “True Compass” was published.
“Both men represent the best of leadership,” Karp said. “Both men have been giants of the Senate who demonstrated an ability to work across the aisle in a truly admirable way.”
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