Profiles in Audacity: Great Decisions and How They Were Made [NOOK Book]


A journey of exploration through history’s great decisions and those who had the courage to make them.


In brief, compelling, and inspiring vignettes, bestselling historian Alan Axelrod pinpoints and investigates the make-or-break event in the lives and careers of some of history’s most significant figures. Axelrod reexamines history by revealing the answer to the fascinating question of why the people who made history made their choices—and conveys the resonance of those...

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Profiles in Audacity: Great Decisions and How They Were Made

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A journey of exploration through history’s great decisions and those who had the courage to make them.


In brief, compelling, and inspiring vignettes, bestselling historian Alan Axelrod pinpoints and investigates the make-or-break event in the lives and careers of some of history’s most significant figures. Axelrod reexamines history by revealing the answer to the fascinating question of why the people who made history made their choices—and conveys the resonance of those choices today. The 46 profiles range from ancient times to the present day and include Cleopatra’s decision to rescue Egypt; Washington’s decision to cross the Delaware and win; Gandhi’s decision to prevail against the British Empire without bloodshed; Truman’s decision to drop the A-bomb and end WW II; Rosa Parks decision to sit in for civil rights; Boris Yeltsin’s decision to embrace a new world order; and Flight 93’s decision to take a stand against terror.


Alan Axelrod is the prolific author of over 60 books on subjects covering history, business, and management, including the bestsellers Patton on Leadership; Elizabeth I, CEO; and What Every American Should Know About American History: 200 Events That Shaped the Nation (with Charles Phillips). He has spoken at management and leadership seminars around the country, and has served as consultant to companies and institutions including Siemens AG and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has appeared on MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including NPR. Axelrod and his work have been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan., and many newspapers, including USA Today.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Prolific author Axelrod (Profiles in Leadership) examines 46 individuals who, in choosing a particular course of action, distinctly influenced history as we know it. Breaking his book up into five parts-"The Decision in Crisis," "The Decision to Venture," "The Decision of Conscience," "The Decision To Risk Everything," and "The Decision To Sacrifice"-he profiles each figure and examines the reasoning behind his or her decision, from Cleopatra ("The decision to rescue Egypt"), to William the Conqueror ("The decision to prevail"), to Abraham Lincoln ("The decision for freedom"), to John F. Kennedy ("The decision that imperiled and saved the world"), and onward to Todd Beamer and Flight 93 ("The decision against terror"). Each profile is not much more than a vignette, each ending with the author's coda on the person's life. If this sounds familiar, it's because it is. Although the repeated use of the word decision may be supposed to cast these stories in the light of leadership guidance for executives and managers, the book is really an elementary history reader for those seeking such an introduction either through their high school or public library collection.-Judith Klamm, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“[A]n insightful collection of vignettes ranging from ancient times to present.” –Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402772566
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 10/23/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 673,356
  • File size: 681 KB

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Rubicon Factor     1
The Decision in Crisis
Cleopatra and the Romans (48-30 B.C.): The Decision to Rescue Egypt     11
Queen Boudicca and the Invaders (CA. A.D. 60): The Decision to Resist     20
Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada (1588): The Decision to Save the Nation     24
Beethoven and Deafness (1802): The Decision to Overcome     30
Tecumseh and an Indian Nation (1806): The Decision to Unite in Struggle     34
Truman and the A-Bomb (1945): The Decision to End a War     41
John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962): The Decision that Imperiled and Saved the World     50
The Decision to Venture
Columbus and the New World (1492): The Decision to Journey to the Edge and Beyond     61
Galileo and the Universe (1633): The Decision to Rethink Reality     67
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the American Wilderness (1803): The Decision to Explore     74
Charlie Goodnight and the First Cattle Drive (1866): The Decision that Created the Cowboy     82
Edison and Electric Light (1878-79): The Decision to Subdivide the Sun     87
Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal (1901-3): The Decision that Revised Global Geopolitics     91
The Wright Brothers and the Airplane (1903): The Decision to Fly     95
Sigmund Freud and Sex (1905): The Decisionto Defy the Morals of an Age     103
Frank X. McNamara and Diners Club (1950): The Decision to Remake the Business of Buying and Selling     108
John F. Kennedy and the Moon (1961): The Decision to Leave the Earth     112
Ted Turner and CNN (1979): The Decision to Network the Planet     119
Bill Gates and MS-DOS (1981): The Decision to Own an Indispensable Technology     124
The Decision of Conscience
Joan of Arc and the Dauphin (1429): The Decision to Act on Inspiration     135
Lincoln and Emancipation (1862): The Decision for Freedom     142
Clara Barton and the Soldiers (1861-62): The Decision to Care     149
Gandhi and Nonviolent Revolution (1893): The Decision to Prevail Without Bloodshed     157
W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP (1909): The Decision Against Compromise     164
Marshall and the Marshall Plan (1947): The Decision to Rescue Europe     169
Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson (1945-47): The Decision to Cross the Color Line     174
Rosa Parks and the Right to Sit (1955): The Decision that Launched the Civil Rights Movement     179
Betty Friedan and a Woman's Place (1963): The Decision to Revalue Values     183
Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act (1964): The Decision to Create Racial Justice     186
Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (1971): The Decision to Tell the Truth     192
James Burke and the Tylenol Murders (1982): The Decision for Corporate Ethics     198
The Decision to Risk Everything
William the Conqueror and the Norman Conquest (1066): The Decision to Prevail     207
Washington and the Delaware Crossing (1776): The Decision to Win     212
Woodrow Wilson and World War I (1917): The Decision to Become a World Power     219
Jimmy Doolittle and the Tokyo Raid (1942): The Decision to Strike Back     229
Truman and the Berlin Airlift (1948): The Decision to "Contain" Communism     234
Edmund Hillary and Everest (1953): The Decision to Conquer     239
Richard M. Nixon and China (1972): The Decision to Coexist     243
Boris Yeltsin and the Communist Coup (1991): The Decision to Embrace a New World Order     250
The Decision to Hope
Chief Joseph and the End of Battle (1877): The Decision for Peace     261
Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth (1889): The Decision to Give All You Have     269
Dwight Eisenhower and D-Day (1944): The Decision to Give the Order     275
Menachem Begin and El-Anwar Sadat (1978): The Decision for Mutual Survival     279
Todd Beamer and Flight 93 (2001): The Decision Against Terror     285
Further Reading     294
Index     299
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013


    Each chapter reads like an 8th grade homework assignment...not well painted in rose colored liberal glasses. It is a book about "decisions" yet only the actual decision is discussed at any detail...not the other side of the debate or the consequences of the decisions, good and bad. It is like typical mindshaping junk spouted by left leaning teachers of high school history.

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    Posted September 23, 2013

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    Posted February 13, 2011

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    Posted May 31, 2012

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