Reviews for Hard call : great decisions and the extraordinary people who made them

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Much admired for his integrity, McCain offers profiles of individuals who have been confronted with difficult situations and made heroic choices. He begins Bud Day, an air force major who escaped captivity in Vietnam in 1967 only to be recaptured and help others including McCain survive. McCain details the qualities represented in making the hard calls in life: awareness, foresight, timing, confidence, humility, and inspiration. The most important part of the equation is self-awareness, and McCain recalls how his own lack of self-awareness caused him to be captured in Vietnam. In separate chapters, he explores each of those qualities and provides examples of people who exemplify them. Branch Rickey, who broke the color barrier in American baseball by hiring Jackie Robinson, is profiled for his awareness of the pernicious impact of racism. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the former pacifist, who turned his considerable intellect to support World War II, is profiled for his humility in recognizing the paradox of war in the context of moral responsibility. McCain also cites former President Gerald Ford for his humility in showing mercy for disgraced President Nixon and pardoning him, at great political cost. Among the inspirational profiles are Apollo II mission commander Neil Armstrong and Captain Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the all-black Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. McCain and cowriter Salter treat all of those profiled in great detail, providing the historical context for their hard calls.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2007 Booklist