The Education of an Idealist

When I was thirteen, I wanted to be a Secret Service Agent. I clipped all the articles from the newspaper that covered the attempted assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan. I would imagine myself dressed in a black suit carrying a gun. Years later, I wanted to be a journalist. Instead of protecting politicians, I would write about them. I would travel to get the story and then I would write the truth. When I picked up Samantha Power’s memoir The Education of an Idealist and read the jacket cover, I thought immediately that “this was the life I wanted to live all those years ago.”.
Power tells the story of her life born in Ireland and moving with her mother and brother to America when she was a young child. She learns an American accent and plays baseball and assimilates quite naturally into the Culture.
Powers grows up, goes to college and eventually becomes a war correspondent assigned to cover the war in Bosnia cultivating a strong sense of justice regarding war victims.
Back in America, Samantha works with Obama’s presidential campaign and eventually works her way to becoming The United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Power is the master of detail. The author must have been journaling or writing consistently throughout her experiences — a habit of a journalist. Reading the memoir of a writer is always a pleasant experience because gifted writers have a strong writer’s voice it feels as though they, or in this case, Samatha Power herself was sitting across the table telling her stories to me over a cup of tea…or a glass of whiskey.
What an inspiring book for young women to read. To read the life of bravery, creativity, political astuteness and empathy and all the adventures that come with it.

“…the relief of a father who has been reunited with his son, newly free of a deadly disease. The look on a government ministers’ face as he traverses a rainbow crosswalk. the insistence of diplomats to go on serving their country,  even when being ignored and insulted because they know that our nation is bigger than any one leader. And the persistent attempts- after unforgivable acts- to find the humanity in one’s foe” (pg 552).

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