The path to Congress is very rarely straight, but Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona has had one of the most unique paths I’ve read about in quite awhile. Currently, McSally holds the seat she was appointed to fill after the death of Sen. John McCain. McSally will compete in a special election this November to keep the seat until the seat it up again in 2022. If you want to know why she’s so tenaciously running for office and why people who love her love her so much, you’ll want to read this book. 

If there’s anything you know about McSally, it’s likely about her experience in the Air Force and her dog. Don’t worry, both of those have a big place in this book. I’m not someone who’s super “into” reading about the military, but I do read a lot of political memoirs and self-help books, and McSally does a great job balancing her military talk with her insight into her own life and her experiences. Yes, people interested in the military will love hearing McSally talk about flying fighter planes, training for missions, and deploying, but as a woman with no military experience, I was still intrigued to read about McSally’s experiences. Even though I never served and likely never will,  McSally makes the narrative flow easily with her writing style, and the experiences of gender-based discrimination, the importance of preparation, and concerns about friends and family are universal.

Speaking of gender-based discrimination–aka sexism–if you’ve ever said to yourself “sexism isn’t real,” you’re in for a real rude awakening in this book. McSally made history as a female fighter pilot, but she talks candidly about the systematic and personal instance of sexism she experienced. Let’s just say it goes beyond “locker room” talk about cursing. We’re talking about mocking, sexual harassment and assault, uneven expectations related to wardrobe and attire, and more. McSally’s fight against the abaya rule in Saudi Arabia is a great example of her standing up to gender-based discrimination and making changes. If you aren’t aware of sexism in the world, and especially in the military, you aren’t listening. With this book, there’s no excuse. And while the experiences McSally had can be demoralizing to think about, her outlook on overcoming them and coming out stronger is amazing.

Throughout the book–from talking about growing up in Rhode Island and losing her dad to running for Congress in Arizona–McSally stuns the reader with insightful, uplifting commentary and her bright spirit. Life isn’t always easy, and the road won’t always be smooth, but in her first book, she’ll dare you to fly anyway.

Get your copy of Dare To Fly by Senator Martha McSally here.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member