John McCain and Robert Jordan
I heard an interview today with the makers of a new film about John McCain, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" made with the full cooperation of McCain and his family.
One interesting bit is that the title derives only indirectly from the John Donne poem, but directly from the Hemingway novel it inspired, It is McCain's favorite book, and the protagonist, Robert Jordan, one of his personal heroes, even though a fictional character.
At first it seems odd that a conservative Republican should idolize a lefty volunteer fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. (I've forgotten whether Jordan was a Communist, anarchist or Socialist). But if you've read the book it becomes clear upon reflection. Jordan sacrifices himself for love and a cause, things McCain can identify with, and is portrayed as a man of honor and conscience, of adherence to duty and loyalty to one's comrades in arms.
The book also renders him a symbolic Christ figure, dying on a cross roads for one thing, rather than the mountain pass where Gary Cooper faces off against the approaching Fascists in the very good movie version. The movie also is far less overtly political.