A genuinely entertaining political memoir

Cover of The Restless WaveThe Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations
John McCain (with Mark Salter)
Simon & Schuster, £19.49
(Buy at Amazon)

Many political memoirs are hopelessly dull. But The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations by John McCain (with his long-time aide Mark Salter) is genuinely entertaining.

John McCain is the maverick Republican senator who won the Republican nomination against the odds in 2008 and lost the race for the White House to Barack Obama. Now seriously ill, McCain writes candidly on a wide range of subjects.

Noted for his willingness to partner with Democrats on certain issues, and a firm believer in the need for America to intervene abroad to foster democracy, McCain is as far from Donald Trump’s “America First” ideology as a Republican can be. The section on immigration is a powerful call for a humane and economically pragmatic approach. McCain also makes it very clear that he considers Trump dangerously naïve about Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and his regime.

McCain’s final chapter on his home state of Arizona is less engaging, but on balance this is a compelling behind-the-scenes look at how American politicians get things done in the age of chronic gridlock.

If you are interested in US politics, or simply want to learn about an important American politician who is not Donald Trump, this is the book for you.