Writers Bloc and The Skirball Present
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch
In Conversation With Professor Angela Stent
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Free Virtual Event
Free registration. To purchase a copy of Ambassador Yovanovitch’s acclaimed book, Lessons From the Edge, support local bookstores and purchase it from Skylight Books. Signed bookplates will be available with your order.
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Marie Yovanovitch, celebrated Russia expert, arguably knows more about Ukraine, President Zelensky and current Ukraine politics, and Putin than pretty much anyone around. She should. After all, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine for more than three years, and years before that, she was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv. Appointed by Obama to the top diplomacy post in Kyiv, and later smeared by Trump loyalists, she became a Foreign Service legend for her quiet and determined way as she spoke truth to power to the nation in the first Trump impeachment trial.
In her new book, Lessons from the Edge, an instant New York Times bestseller, former Ambassador Yovanovitch recounts her nonpartisan experience in the Foreign Service, rising to the very top ranks, and serving in hot spots around the world. The story of her time in Ukraine– and being sent home– is harrowing. She was shocked senseless by her own government’s betrayal, a campaign of corruption and lies targeting a diplomat who served her country for over 30 years. She recounts her fear and shock as her stellar diplomatic reputation was trashed by Trump’s team and servile right wing media. Recall her steady and undaunted testimony in the first impeachment trial, as she discussed the intimidation she faced by the State Department, and by the President. In Lessons from the Edge, Yovanovitch looks at American diplomacy writ large– its promise, its idealism, and its inherent value to the world– as well as its occasional and quiet support of undemocratic governments around the world.
It’s difficult to come up with someone who would know more about Ukraine and Russia than Professor Angela Stent, author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest. A non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute and a professor emerita of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, she served as a national intelligence officer on Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. Her recent book on Putin, Putin’s World, has won distinguished awards. If that weren’t enough, she was a member of the senior advisory panel for NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.