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.