[Read] ➲ The Education of an Idealist ➮ Samantha Power – Tactical-player.co.uk
The authenticity of Power s voice makes this an inspiring book for all, but particularly for the young looking for guidance on how to begin their lives Her spirited curiosity and drive make her a wonderful model She is difficult not to like even as she blunders Great feminist, too It s a classic, a keeper Samantha makes it to the top of International affairs and tells us all about her beat at the White House and UN and her days as a journalist Lots of good stories and behind the scenes of a very interesting and gifted woman living an exceptional life She could have called it Not a Moment Wasted Also, I recommend reading A Singular Woman The Untold Story of Barack Obama s Mother Scott, Janny if you loved Samantha Power s book. Reading a book over 500 pages long is a daunting task The mitigation is that Samantha Power is a good writer who holds the reader s interest Young enough to be my daughter, she has lived enough for three normal length lives Hence the necessity of a long autobiography.It should be no surprise that she writes well because she started out as a journalist Her desire is to affect the world for the better She became an expert on genocide This makes the book depressing in spots, but she might be helping bend the curve away from genocide in the long run It depends upon which way we go in 2020, I guess.Besides her journalistic career and her expert knowledge on genocide, and her diplomatic career, she has managed to have two children It is all there her childhood in Ireland, her travels, her loves, her failings, her government work, her child rearing Her book reminds me of how there are so many people in the world who are smarter and energetic than I.It was hard to put the book down because it was so interesting, but even so, it took be the better part of three days to read. Power was an idealist in politics, a stance that is extremely difficult to maintain for long She worked in Obama s administrations as the Ambassador to the UN, a thankless job Power won a Pulitzer for her book, A Problem from Hell, a fine account of genocide.Her latest book is about what happens when a theorist meets the realities of the global political jungle It is also about being a wife and mother with two young children It was a very difficult thing to juggle work and family.When Assad used chemical weapons against civilians in 2013 he crossed Obama s red line Power was at the UN and she was very pleased to hear that the President wanted to punish Assad for committing a war crime Unfortunately, after weeks of dithering Obama decided to seek the approval of Congress before giving the order to deliver air strikes against the Syrian regime Congress, unsurprisingly, refused to approve Almost certainly Obama knew this would happen.Congress knew that their voters had turned against American interventions around the world The Donald Trump era was on the horizon Power fails to analyse the consequences of this, namely that the US has suffered long term damage to its prestige and power.Power s examples of American success were, sadly, short lived Tackling Ebola and promoting gay rights were a success but minor when considered against the failures in Burma, South Sudan and elsewhere Today tyrants no longer fear US threats Obama and Trump are not in the same league as Kennedy Human rights, a major concern of the author, are not as high on the agenda as yesterday, see the recent case of the Kurds.This is an interesting book but one that skims the surface of the real problems in today s volatile world Power comes over as a decent person but one who was out of her depth in the international political arena. This book deftly balances being touching and very interesting educational, which I imagine is a reflection on the authors personality I was pleasantly surprised how well and easily this book held my attention throughout She mixes the global with the profoundly personal throughout, which not just lets the reader know her but also I found it informed me on some of modern history interesting chapters. It s been a long time time I had to force myself to put a book down and get out of my official reading chair It s a beautiful, warm fall day out there and all I want to do is turn these pages It s not often that you find a foreign policy geek who also knows how to write. I wanted to like this book, I really did My priors were that Samantha Power is an interesting, intelligent, and well intentioned person Which I continue to believe And I agree with the majority of the comments, that the book is well written.However, and this is a big however, she reveals what to me seems a huge blind spot, on the order of those exhibited by one of her mentors, Richard Holbrooke.The blind spot is this Ms Power consistently praises the US for its diversity, while she consistently criticizes various other countries for genocide What is wrong with this It is certainly not wrong to criticize genocide What is wrong is to ignore the important link between diversity and genocide Genocide is an extreme response by governments to minorities in their populations from which the majority differs in some important way Without those differences which can be ideological, religious, political, or racial there is no basis for persecution or discrimination of any sort of the minority ies by the majority, let alone for the extreme response of genocide In short, diversity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for discrimination of all sorts, up to and including genocide This is one lesson of history, and the examples are simply too many to ignore.In short, Ms Power appears to advocate diversity within nations as a purely good thing, while history teaches us that such diversity is a best a mixed bag And so, Ms Power appears to be asserting that governments can, going forward, constrain their citizens to react differently than citizens of the past have repeatedly done in the face of racial and other differences between them, which is to cluster in tribes and to distrust strangers In short, she expects that governments are capable of altering basic human nature That is one VERY optimistic assumption It is especially problematic when one considers that ALL forms of government, not limited to democracy, provide strong incentives for those in power to cater to the power blocs in their populations in order to maintain control And one way to do that, a way that is especially prominent in today s political world, is to demonize the opposition, in this case, those who differ in race, gender, politics, and or religion from the majority.It seems to me, when discussing policy in diverse populations, one should at least consider the possibility that diversity could be a governance problem, as it turned out to be for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example And in Bosnia And in Yemen This, I imagine, is the basis for support of a two nation solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.This issue is, of course a very large and contentious one All the reason why Ms Power should have addressed it in her book Otherwise it is, and unfortunately remains, the 800 pound gorilla in the room. This woman can write Pulitzer Prize winner journalistThis woman has something to say idealist immigrant human rights advocate mother former US Ambassador to the UNAnd she says it very well.