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The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir Hardcover – Illustrated, September 10, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,467 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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] is a very good writer, which makes it more fun and truly engrossing to read a memoir about a former U.S. official….A pleasure to read.” -- Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

“Power writes movingly about everything…and she delivers one of the best-written political memoirs of recent years.” -- Fareed Zakaria, CNN  

“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

“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

“Engaging….Power’s memoir is an insider’s account of foreign-policy-making, and an intensely personal one.” -- The Economist

“Lively…and strikingly personal…[Power] writes vividly and lucidly here about her turn in the international spotlight.” -- Vogue

Aided by the strangely sweet love story at its core…a joyous counterpoint to the stresses of political life. . . . A fascinating read. -- Vanity Fair

Refreshingly frank and self-deprecating, Power's memoir is an energizing reminder that conscience has a place in the process of shaping foreign policy. -- Time

“A foreign policy guru reveals her many selves in a sweeping autobiography” -- O Magazine

"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 Independent (Ireland)

“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

“An illuminating and engaging account of [Power’s] journey from would-be sports journalist to award winning author, from Irish immigrant to presidential cabinet member… This engrossing memoir will appeal to informed readers and will inspire women contemplating careers in public service.” -- Library Journal

“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 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

The Education of an Idealist is that rare political memoir: startlingly honest, funny and beautifully written. -- NPR

“A celebrated writer and an accomplished diplomat, Samantha Power is one of the most outspoken and important voices in world affairs today. Her absorbing, heartfelt, and remarkably candid memoir provides vivid new details about the difficult strategic questions that arose during her years in the Obama administration, and offers essential lessons to anyone aspiring to follow in her footsteps in shaping the world for the better.”   -- Secretary of State MADELEINE ALBRIGHT

A beautiful memoir about the times we’re living in and the questions we must ask ourselves…I honestly couldn’t put it down. -- Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

“Honest, personal, revealing. . . about the development of a young woman’s inner strength and self-knowledge.” -- COLM TÓIBÍN, author of Brooklyn and Nora Webster

About the Author

Samantha Power is a Professor of Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School. From 2013-2017, Power served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s cabinet. From 2009-2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School.  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 bestsellers Chasing the Flame: One Man’s Fight to Save the World (2008) and The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019), which was named one of the best books of 2019 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, NPR, and TIME. Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dey Street Books; Illustrated edition (September 10, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 592 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062820699
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062820693
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.85 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.43 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,467 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,467 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2019
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Richard
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn’t do what the tin says
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars One can but weep
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2020
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Peter Doyle
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2020
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Shahram Chubin
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, fascinating. gripping book by diplomat/scholar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2019
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Frank Zimula
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2020
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