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The Education of an Idealist
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About the Author

Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the William D. Zabel Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School. From 2013 to 2017, Power served in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama and as US Ambassador to the United Nations. From 2009 to 2013, Power worked on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Power's book "A Problem from Hell" America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Sergio: One Man's Fight to Save the World. Power began her career as a journalist reporting from countries including Bosnia, East Timor, Rwanda, and Sudan, and she has been named by TIME as one of the world's 100 Most Influential People and by Forbes as one of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. She immigrated to the United States from Ireland as a child, and lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Cass Sunstein, and their two children.

Reviews

"Problem solving in a complex world can challenge idealism. Samantha Power's compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time."--BRYAN STEVENSON, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy
"Samantha Power's memoir gives a candid, self-questioning, intensely personal view of what goes on inside. It should inspire others to test their ideals against the unforgiving world."--GEORGE PACKER, author of The Unwinding and Our Man
Advance Praise for Samantha Power and The Education of an Idealist: "Samantha Power's captivating memoir is a rare and intimate revelation of the inner workings of international diplomacy as well as a heartening beacon of a book for young women and men everywhere. Its stories of dignity, kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness are needed today as never before."--DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author
"Samantha Power's book is honest, personal, revealing. It is about the development of a young woman's inner strength and self-knowledge. But it is also a political book, alert to both the power of political will and its limitations. It is the journey of an idealist, whose conscience was forged in Bosnia, into the corridors of power where compromise does battle with commitment. It is the story of someone with the soul of an outsider becoming, as an insider, a passionate witness to events in the White House and the United Nations during the Obama years."--COLM TOIBIN, author of Brooklyn and Nora Webster
"In this gripping and revelatory memoir, Power chronicles, with vibrant precision and stunning candor, her best and worst moments navigating the obstacle courses within the White House and the UN, daunting global crises, and personal struggles. She is utterly compelling in her eye-witness accounts of violence and political standoffs and shrewdly witty in her tales about balancing diplomacy and motherhood."--Booklist, starred review
"[Power] stresses the necessity of caring, acting, and not giving up when seeking to change people's lives. Power's vibrant prose, exuberant storytelling, and deep insights into human nature make for a page-turning memoir."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Lively...and strikingly personal...[Power] writes vividly and lucidly here about her turn in the international spotlight."--Vogue
"This is a wonderful book. [...] The interweaving of Power's personal story, family story, diplomatic history and moral arguments is executed seamlessly--and with unblinking honesty."
--THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, The New York Times Book Review
"Power writes with heart about her upbringing -- in Ireland, Pittsburgh and Atlanta -- and she is especially poignant when recounting a few traumatic episodes... Still, the book is suffused with humor, and [President Obama] furnishes the funniest anecdotes that don't come from her charming children...The Education of an Idealist is a moving account of how to serve righteously, or at least how to try."--The Washington Post
"Power is a master story-teller...a brilliant self-portrait of an outsider turned insider, who is forced to grapple with the challenges that brings, and does so honestly."--The Irish Independent
"Amid the flood of memoirs from Obama administration veterans, Power's stands out as worth reading. For starters, she's a better writer than a lot of them--she was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author long before she got into government. She's also done more that's worth reading about. Like the best journalists, Power has a gift for finding the perfect anecdote to illustrate a larger idea or theme, and this is the rare political memoir where you definitely shouldn't skim the "early years" chapters.--Slate
"Engaging....Power's memoir is an insider's account of foreign-policy-making, and an intensely personal one."--The Economist

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