Man has a natural aptitude for virtue; but the perfection of virtue must be acquired by man by means of some kind of training.
—Saint Thomas Aquinas1
THE SEED FOR THIS BOOK was planted in the 1970s. It was sown during a moment of temptation to make the wrong ethical decision. Author Ron Howard, working as a decision-analysis consultant, was asked by a defense contractor to analyze which fighter plane the U.S. Air Force should choose for its fleet. The contract was big, lucrative, and appealing.
The client remarked, “Of course, we all know how the analysis will come out.”
Howard raised an eyebrow. Well, no, he had no idea. The contractor’s plane might easily be the best choice, but he would have to perform ...