John McCain on What He Learned as a Prisoner of War

TIME

Answer by John McCain, United States Senator and author of Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War, on Quora.

That’s not a question I can answer briefly. So, I won’t really try. I wrote a book, Faith of My Fathers, which gave the experience the space I needed to describe all my thoughts about it. Suffice it to say, it was a mostly terrible experience but not all of it. I hated it, and yet I made some of the most important discoveries and relationships of my life in prison.

I was treated poorly by my captors, but not as poorly as they treated other POWs, and the treatment improved as the years passed, though it never met Geneva Convention standards.

My contact with the outside world was pretty much limited to conversations with new prisoners, who would bring the old timers up to date…

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