The Education of an Idealist:
in conversation with DAVID GERGEN
This event includes a book signing
September 9, 2019
(Doors at 6:30)
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Book Store welcomes SAMANTHA POWER—Harvard professor, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—for a discussion of her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist. She will be joined in conversation by CNN senior political analyst DAVID GERGEN. This event is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.
About The Education of an Idealist
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, 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. Humorous 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.
Praise for The Education of an Idealist
“Samantha Power’s captivating memoir is a rare and intimate revelation of the inner workings of international diplomacy as well as a heartening beacon of a book for young women and men everywhere. Its stories of dignity, kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness are needed today as never before.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“Problem solving in a complex world can challenge idealism. Samantha Power’s compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time.” —Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy
“Samantha Power’s memoir gives a candid, self-questioning, intensely personal view of what goes on inside. It should inspire others to test their ideals against the unforgiving world.”
—George Packer, author of The Unwinding and Our Man
Tickets are available online only at harvard.com and harvardbookstore.eventbrite.com. All tickets for this event include a $5 coupon for use in the bookstore. Pre-sale tickets include a copy of The Education of an Idealist. Books bundled with pre-sale tickets may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
We're experiencing an enormous and unprecedented order volume at this time. Thanks for your patience and understanding.Learn More »
Support Harvard Book Store
Shop early, shop local, and help support our future.Learn More »
Shipping & Curbside Pickup
We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!Learn More »
New This Week
Shop this week's new arrivals, updated every Tuesday.Learn More »