The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs welcome Samantha Power for a discussion of her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist. Power, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, 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 the Practice of Human Rights at Harvard Law School. Power will be joined in conversation with Director of the Belfer Center and former United States Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter.
The event will be followed by a book signing. Please note that while books will not be available for purchase at the event, attendees are encouraged to bring a copy for Amb. Power to sign.
The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir
What can one person do? At a time of upheaval and division, Samantha Power offers an urgent response to this question—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 brings a unique blend of suspenseful storytelling, vivid character portraits, and shrewd political insight. It traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, while teaching at the Kennedy School, 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. Lively and deeply honest, The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing 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.
Power’s memoir is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference.