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Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them
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Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  198 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
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 edg
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by Twelve (first published 2007)
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Don Weidinger
Jul 15, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
luck is unreliable, Ft Riley Lewis Robinson, Life of Christ Giovanni Papini book, the guts not to fight back, nasa overrides Challenger, Orbiter project Navy politics, man belongs wherever he wants to go, awareness and foresight, curiosity and discernment to check vices, checks/balances as not to presume virtues, good over evil Reagan, decreased oil prices shorted ussr, sdi vs madd, belief in country and values, an idea whose time has come, Boing risks, Sadat gracious turn-out Soviets strength t ...more
Clare
Nov 30, 2007 Clare rated it it was ok
This book is full of good stories about people who have achieved great things but the narrative style of writing has no oomph, no drama. I found it hard to get through.
Carol
Mar 03, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
No one is more surprised than me that I checked out such a book, and more importantly by John McCain. After the political bruhaha two elections ago, I never wanted to see his face or hear his voice again. When walking the aisles at the library, I came upon this book, which has been a complete and delightful surprise. The preface of this book is that making difficult decisions takes skills and insights. He and Mark Salter touch on many different areas that history has shown what could have happen ...more
Joy
Apr 22, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it
This was a 'Profiles in Courage' type book, with biographies of people who made 'courageous choices under dificult circumstances.' Some of the people proviled were Gerald Ford's pardoning of Nixon, Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon, and Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball. It was a good representation of individuals from various areas of life, with emphasis on the particular situation that showed "awareness, forsight, timing, confidence, humility, and inspiration." I was reminded again ...more
Karen
Feb 16, 2010 Karen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
In this 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 decisio
...more
Mike
Feb 16, 2009 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first half of this book on a 6 hour flight to California. I couldn't sleep, and had to get my mind off of the loud drone of the engines, which this book helped me do. It provides interesting miniature biographies, and some interesting facts but doesn't really dissect what makes good decisions. I had hoped to finish the second half on the way back home but could not get back into it. The stories became less interesting, the decisions more of a stretch, and I found myself skipping secti ...more
Sandra Strange
This book is very pleasantly surprising, from the former Republican candidate for President. McCain, with collaborator Mark Salter, identifies the qualities he believes leaders need to make good decisions on important matters, then, after a brief definition (with specific examples) of the quality and why he considers it so essential to good "hard calls," he tells stories of several historical decisions that illustrate each quality, along with the character, biographies and accomplishments of tho ...more
Linda
Jul 07, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
a wide variety of accounts of contemporary and historical figures; some known, some unknown, who have made some tough choices for the good of others. hilight of the book was the section on abraham lincoln's determination to save the union and his complete reliance on god during those very dark days of his presidency. i was amazed how perfectly lincoln understood the connection between the nation's sin of slavery and the hellish punishment brought about by the civil war. that god sent this great ...more
Gregory M. Knapp
An excellent collection of individuals faced with difficult decisions. Great life lessons.
Pubkingsley
May 21, 2014 Pubkingsley rated it liked it
Not a great work of literature, but many of the historical anecdotes were quite interesting.
Erin
Nov 16, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
I like John McCain anyway, but this was a really interesting book about decision-making. He looks at the traits of great decision-makers and also at the things which can hinder making good decisions. Each chapter focuses on the story of a person in history who made good or poor decisions and what we can learn from them. My favorites were:

1. King Campu Gillette (seriously... that's his name), the inventor of disposible razors

2. Gertrude Caroline Ederle, an American swimmer who swam the Channel th
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Gabrielle
Jul 05, 2015 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Some of the stories in here are very inspiring. The rest, not so much.
Zorro Lopez
Jan 16, 2015 Zorro Lopez rated it liked it
A good book if you are in a position of leadership.
Albert
Jul 28, 2011 Albert rated it really liked it
This was obviously a veiled pre-campaign campaign for McKain, but I enjoyed all the anecdotes both well-known and not so well-known. However, it really had little to do with making hard calls, but mainly stories about great Americans (who did not necessarily have to make hard calls). In any case, it left me with the positive impression of McKain as a well-read and well-informed legislator -- which went a long way to what I think of him as a candidate.
Betsie Bush
May 05, 2009 Betsie Bush rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bonnie
I am not sure what compelled me to listen to this book. It is mostly boring history, and I really didn't pay close attention to most of the book. I guess I am just intrigued by John McCain and was pleased with the idea of him choosing this particular topic. For true history buffs this would be at least a 4-star read, but I couldn't give it the attention it deserved. I would have liked to have heard more about "hard call" decisions made by women as well.
Marilou
Apr 29, 2008 Marilou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Am listening to this very interesting book. Werner Von Braun, Goddard, Reagan, Gorbachev, Alexander Graham Bell, AND Jackie Robinson! Whew! Wow, just finished this book. Since I will have to vote for McCain I thought I should know something about what he values. I never knew that Truman integrated the military and the federal govt. This is a fine book about fine people who faced difficult challenges and, for the most part, made the right choices.
Marc
Mar 15, 2008 Marc rated it it was amazing
A book detailing various interesting points in history where people had to make important decisions, some of which were fantastic successes and some awful failures.

The book gives background on their decision making, the history of the people up until that point in their careers and as such is a fascinating insight into some critical turning points in history.
Jeannie
What a truly great and honest man. It is a pity he has let others make his decisions for him lately. He should run with Ron Paul. He would win by a landslide. BUT he needs to make his own decisions, not listen to the Republican Machine! I know he has the fortitude but does he have enough energy any more. sigh
Saadia
Jan 25, 2009 Saadia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an impressive collection of stories: american heroes of the past 2 centuries described among their personal and historical backgrounds and their moments of decisive actions. In addition, the book reflects well on McCain as a person, sharing this pantheon of heroes which make up his value system.
pianogal
Sep 01, 2007 pianogal rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking to make a hard decision in the near future
Shelves: good-reads
This book was a great inspirational read for anyone facing hard decisions in their lives. It got a little bogged down in military decisions, understandable given the author's background, but still managed to be enjoyable. If you can't decide what to do, just read it.
Kipi
Jan 17, 2008 Kipi rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
An interesting read. Nothing terribly compelling, but interesting enough to finish. I was somewhat distracted by the large number of grammatical errors in this book, errors that will surely be corrected in later editions.
Janine
Nov 30, 2008 Janine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
There were some good stories that I hadn't come across before; the reasons for the success of Boeing Aircraft in the last half of the last century was the one that I found most interesting. I would read this again.
Charlie Schnell
Some interesting stories, some not so much. The real problem with the book is the writing - very dry. My respect for Senator McCain probably raised the score a bit.
Jack
Feb 11, 2010 Jack rated it it was ok
This is a book on making tough decisions. Self help people (Bryan) might like it. I thought the best part was the introduction, which was good.
Russ
Sep 10, 2008 Russ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Changed my opinion of John McCain. If these are his heroes, he cannot be the madman that I believed him to be.
Sandra
Sep 29, 2008 Sandra rated it really liked it
extremely interesting. I recommend it to all. Although it's not about McCain, his underlying values come through.
Joe
May 14, 2012 Joe rated it liked it
Not a bad read. The big decisions McCain chose to write about were interesting. The writing was OK.
Heather
Jan 04, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific insights into 20+ men and women who have made difficult decisions and have shaped history.
Tim Oneil
Apr 29, 2014 Tim Oneil rated it really liked it
Gave lots of great examples, he did a nice job collecting good information.
Kelly
Sep 19, 2008 Kelly rated it it was ok
The stories of those who made tough calls were interesting and memorable.
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John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican candidate in the 2008 United States Presidential Election.

McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bomb
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