Synopses & Reviews
In Hard Call
, acclaimed authors John McCain and Mark Salter describe the anatomy of great decisions in history by telling the remarkable stories of men and women who have exemplified composure, wisdom, and intellect in the face of lifeâ€™s toughest decisions.
The authors identify six qualities typically represented in the best decisions: Awareness. Timing. Foresight. Confidence. Humility. Inspiration. These qualities are personified by the exceptional individuals in this book, each of whom made a hard call:
- Branch Rickey's awareness of the opposition he would face in integrating the Brooklyn Dodgers, and his sagacity in choosing the right man, Jackie Robinson, to break baseball's color barrier.
- Winston Churchill's foresight in preparing England's Navy for war.
- Anwar Sadat's and Menachem Begin's timing in choosing to risk their lives and political careers by seeking peace in the aftermath of war.
- Gertrude Ederle's confidence in deciding to swim the English Channel and her fortitude in continuing the quest against the wishes of her coach, despite the fact that no woman had ever succeeded.
- Reinhold Niebuhr's humility in deciding to abandon his pacifist views and endorse the use of violence against persecution in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
- Abraham Lincoln's historic act of inspiration: His decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, the role of faith in his life, and his willingness to suffer for a cause greater than himself.
Woven into these stories are John McCain's own views on the process and art of decision-making and examples of the hard calls we face in our lives. "When I assess a decision," McCain writes, "I want to know all I can about the character of the decision maker before I examine the properties of the decision, its outcome or how it was arrived at."
Hard Call is a testament to the people whose choices serve as a beacon for us all.
"As he faces down the perplexing issues of war in Iraq and immigration reform at home, it's fitting that Arizona senator McCain, a contender for the 2008 Republican presidential bid, would spend time reflecting on principled stands that either 'win a hero's welcome or indefinite pain and suffering.' McCain and co-author Salter follow the blueprint of their previous book, Why Courage Matters, to provide readers with a series of character-as-history profiles of the men and women who shaped seminal moments in 20th century political and cultural history, from the integration of professional baseball to the pardoning of Richard Nixon to the end of the Cold War, as well as seemingly trivial accomplishments like the invention of the disposable razor ('Sell the shave, not the razor'). Throughout, an insider's view provides keen insight on the caprices of history and more than a few echoes of current events, most importantly the interplay between personal experience and national destiny. Meticulously crafted, this collection will appeal to those who respect McCain's reputation as a maverick for whom 'faith and courage' ranks among the most important forces in human history." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"John McCain has long been one of the most interesting figures in public life and is possibly the only presidential candidate with two must-read books to his name." Los Angeles Times
At some point in our lives, we all face tough decisions and have to make that hard call. In this remarkable book, Senator McCain and Mark Salter use experiences of both extraordinary people and people in extraordinary circumstances to dramatically describe the anatomy of a great decision. Highlights include:
- Henry Ford's decision to sacrifice his company's competitive edge by reducing the work day and guaranteeing a minimum wage.
- Branch Rickey's decision to offer Jackie Robinson a contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the face of public opposition.
- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf 's decision to return to wartorn Liberia after receiving an economics degree from Harvard.
- General Fred Weyand's decision to redeploy fifteen of his battalions despite resistance from senior American military commanders in Vietnam.
- And much more.
In this remarkable book, Senator McCain uses experiences of both extraordinary people and people in extraordinary circumstances to dramatically describe the anatomy of great decision making.
About the Author
John McCain is a United States senator from Arizona. He retired from the navy as a captain in 1981, and was first elected to Congress in 1982. He is currently serving his third term in the Senate.