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 life’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.