The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir

Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power, widely known as a relentless advocate for promoting human rights, has been heralded by President Barack Obama as one of America's "foremost thinkers on foreign policy."

In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question "What can one person do?"—and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives. The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.

A Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy. The Education of an Idealist lays bare the battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity.

Title:The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780062820716
Format Type:

    The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir Reviews

  • Jean

    Power was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”. Power was a journalist covering the Balkan War when she started writing the book. She...

  • Esil

    3.5 starsI would have liked The Education of an Idealist much more if it had been shorter, although I’m still glad I listened to it. Samantha Power is probably best known as an ambassador to the UN ...

  • Aurelie

    What a spellbinding memoir. At first I found the title a bit grandiose, but the book is such a page-turner that I quickly forgot that minor quibble. I discovered Samantha Power when I read her biograp...

  • Rincey

    Extremely well written and has a great POV on the way activism and government and getting actual changes made can intersect as well as work against each other. But toward the end, it started to feel a...

  • Daeny

    Oh man. I really appreciated this. It reminds me of when I read Madeleine Albright’s memoir in high school and provokes the same emotions - inspiration and a desire to go out there and do something....

  • Lorna

    The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir by Samantha Power was an engaging and highly reflective book. I vividly remember Samantha Power as a human rights advocate and as U.S. Ambassador to the United N...

  • Prasan

    Samantha Power is an exceptional writer, but the book has serious blindspots. This is written as a personal memoir, taking you from Ms Power's childhood in Ireland, her journey to America, her involve...

  • Dustin

    This was worthwhile, but not exceptional. I rarely say this, because I like long slogs and detailed memoirs and historical texts. But this could have been quite a bit shorter. Power's writing is stron...

  • Cody

    “People who care, act, and refuse to give up may not change THE world, but they can change many individual worlds.” Samantha Power's Memoir "The Education of an Idealist" reads as an honest, upfro...

  • Tzipora

    This was by far the most personal and most interesting- and consistently interesting, never any dull moments for me- political memoir I’ve ever read!I also greatly enjoyed getting to live vicariousl...