Lessons From the Edge: A Memoir
By Marie Yovanovitch
Mariner Books, March 2022
An inspiring and urgent memoir by the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine—a pioneering diplomat who spent her career advancing democracy in the post-Soviet world, and who electrified the nation by speaking truth to power during the first impeachment of President Trump.
By the time she became U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch had seen her share of corruption, instability, and tragedy in developing countries. But it came as a shock when, in early 2019, she was recalled from her post after a smear campaign by President Trump’s personal attorney and his associates—men operating outside of normal governmental channels, and apparently motivated by personal gain. Her courageous participation in the subsequent impeachment inquiry earned Yovanovitch the nation’s respect, and her dignified response to the president’s attacks won our hearts. She has reclaimed her own narrative, first with her lauded congressional testimony, and now with this memoir.
A child of parents who survived Soviet and Nazi terror, Yovanovitch’s life and work have taught her the preciousness of democracy as well as the dangers of corruption. Lessons from the Edge follows the arc of her career as she develops into the person we came to know during the impeachment proceedings.
“A brilliant, engaging, and inspiring memoir from one of America’s wisest and most courageous diplomats—essential reading for current policymakers, aspiring public servants, and anyone who cares about America’s role in the world.”—Madeleine K. Albright
“At turns moving and gripping and always inspiring … a powerful testament to a uniquely American life well-lived and a remarkable career of dedicated public service at the highest levels of government.”—Fiona Hill, New York Times best-selling author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century
“Subtle and engaging … Yovanovitch emerges from this narrative as a model of what America should want in its diplomats: courageous, steadfast, removed from politics to the point of naivete.” — David Ignatius, The Washington Post
“A superbly crafted and intimately revealing self-portrait of a true hero of American diplomacy.… Wherever her diplomatic missions took her, Yovanovitch epitomized foreign service office philosophy, hewing to the principle of representing American ideals and policies with dignity and integrity.” — Booklist (starred review)’’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MARIE YOVANOVITCH served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to other senior government positions during her thirty-three-year diplomatic career. She retired from the State Department in 2020 and is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a non-resident fellow at Georgetown University. She has received multiple awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary’s Diplomacy for Freedom Award, the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy, and the PEN/Benenson Courage Award.
Eye on the World: A Life in International Service
By Anthony C.E. Quainton
Potomac Books, July 2022
Eye on the World is the autobiography of diplomat Anthony C. E. Quainton, the story of a long and varied life lived in eleven countries on six continents. Rather than a formal history, this is Quainton’s reflection on his interactions with the events of those times, beginning with George VI’s historic visit to North America in 1939, through the years of the Cold War, the efforts to contain and then defeat the Soviet Union, and finally the two decades of uneasy peace that came after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To some of these events Quainton was merely a spectator. In other areas—India, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru—he was actively involved either as a participant in the policy process in Washington or as the senior representative of the United States in those countries.
Spanning his upbringing and education through two decades after his retirement, Quainton describes the expanding horizons of a middle-class boy from the northwest corner of North America as he encountered the complexity of the world in which he spent his professional life. Quainton served in seven different presidential appointments under presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. These included four ambassadorships in distinct parts of the world and three assistant secretary–level posts in Washington. This range of geographic and functional assignments was unique in his generation of Foreign Service officers.
“Lively, refreshingly candid, and occasionally self-critical. . . . A superb account of an exemplary diplomatic career that took place during the latter half of the Cold War. It should be of strong interest to those who lived the period as well as those aspiring to diplomatic careers of their own.”—John Negroponte, former U.S. deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence
“Highly readable. . . . Interesting experiences and insights inform and educate in as good a revelation of what it means to be a diplomat as you will find. Ambassador Quainton does not hesitate to relate foible and faults and does so with humility and grace, reflecting a moral compass in a complex world . . . while dealing with terror and the personnel system of the State Department.”—Thomas R. Pickering, former undersecretary of state and ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, the United Nations, India, and Russia
“Eye on the World is a reminder of how diplomacy has changed over more than half a century. The Nicaraguan section detailing how an ambassador walks the line to maintain credibility while dealing with a White House that wants reporting tailored to its policy remains relevant for diplomats today. The variety of Quainton’s diplomatic experiences is particularly valuable for understanding the manifold facets of diplomacy.”—Ronald E. Neumann, former ambassador to Afghanistan, Bahrain, and Algeria and president of the American Academy of Diplomacy
“In this charming and engrossing memoir, Ambassador Anthony Quainton tells his story as a boy from modest means growing up in the Pacific Northwest, attending several of the most elite institutions of secondary and higher learning in the world, and then embarking on a distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service. His account of his remarkable rise through the ranks to serve as ambassador to the Central African Republic, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru is sure to inspire anyone pursuing a career in diplomacy.”—James Goldgeier, professor of international relations at American University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthony C. E. Quainton is distinguished diplomat in residence emeritus at American University. After nearly twenty years as a U.S. Foreign Service officer he became director of the State Department’s Office for Combating Terrorism, a post he held until 1981, when President Ronald Reagan named him U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua. Reagan later appointed him ambassador to Kuwait, and President George H. W. Bush named him ambassador to Peru. Quainton served as director general of the Foreign Service from December 1995 to August 1997.
The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy: Weak Power, Great Power, Super Power, Hyperpower
By Michael Mandelbaum
Oxford University Press, June 2022
In The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy, Michael Mandelbaum offers a new framework for understanding the evolution of the foreign policy of the United States. He divides that evolution into four distinct periods, with each defined by the consistent increase in American power relative to other countries. His history of the four periods features engaging accounts of the major events and important personalities in the foreign policy of each era. Throughout, Mandelbaum highlights fundamental continuities in the goals of American foreign policy and in the way that policy was adopted and implemented. He portrays the United States, in its ascent, first as a weak power, from 1765 to 1865, then as a great power between 1865 and 1945, next as a superpower in the years 1945 to 1990, and finally as the world’s sole hyperpower, from 1990 to 2015. He also presents three features of American foreign policy that are found in every era: first, the goal of disseminating the political ideas Americans have embraced from the first; second, the use of economic instruments in pursuit of the country’s foreign policy goals; and third, a process for formulating policy and implementing decisions shaped by considerable popular influence. American foreign policy, as he puts it, has been unusually ideological, unusually economic, and unusually democratic.
“The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy . . . is essential for anyone concerned about world affairs. Mandelbäum’s analysis contains unique perspectives and new insights for understanding America’s role in today’s turbulent era. A profound searchlight on the past and a guidepost for the future, it combines rare scholarship with lucid relevance. Vital for both general readers and professionals.” — Ralph Buultjens, Former Nehru Professor, University of Cambridge (UK); New York University
“The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy is a sweeping account of America’s place in the world. Elegantly written, it is an invaluable addition to the scholarship on the United States.” — Susan Eisenhower, author of How Ike Led, and President of the Eisenhower Group, Inc.
“In this accessible and readable account of the broad sweep of US foreign policy, Mandelbaum explores a paradoxical question: why, as American power has increased over the centuries, has the United States ultimately become less able to achieve its foreign policy goals? Sure to provoke spirited debate, his answers to this critical question will interest specialists and the general reader alike.” — Mary Elise Sarotte, author of Not One Inch
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author of sixteen previous books, including Mission Failure (Oxford, 2016), The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth (Oxford, 2019), and, with Thomas L. Friedman, That Used to Be Us (2011).
Here, Right Matters: An American Story
By Alexander S. Vindman, Lt. Col., U.S. Army (Ret.)
Harper, August 2021
0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months that followed, the American public would only learn what happened on that call because Alexander Vindman felt duty-bound to report it up the chain of command: that the President of the United States had extorted a foreign ally to damage a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions and subsequent testimony before Congress would lead to Trump’s impeachment and affirm Vindman’s belief that he had done the right thing in the face of intense pressure to stay silent. But it would come at an enormous cost, straining relationships with colleagues, superiors, and even his own father, and eventually end his decorated career in the US Army, by a Trump administration intent on retribution.
Here, Right Matters is Vindman’s proud, passionate, and candid account of his family, his career, and the moment of truth he faced for his nation. As an immigrant, raised by a father who fled the Soviet Union in pursuit of a better life for his children, Vindman learned about respect for truth throughout his education and military service. As this memoir makes clear, his decision to speak up about the July 25th call was never a choice: it was Vindman’s duty, as a naturalized citizen and member of the armed forces. In the wake of his testimony, he would endure furious partisan attacks on his record and his loyalty. But far louder was the extraordinary chorus of support from citizens who were collectively intent on reaffirming an abiding American commitment to integrity.
In the face of a sure-fire career derailment and public excoriation, Vindman heeded the lessons from the people and institutions who instilled in him the moral compass and the courage to act decisively.
“Compelling . . . . Even those who know the details of Trump’s impeachment will find it chilling to hear them related by one of the event’s chief figures. . . . The story of an ordinary man placed in extraordinary circumstances who did the right thing.” — New York Times Book Review
“Vindman reminds us of what genuine patriotism can look like. . . . Vindman’s regional knowledge allows him to unpack the reasons that so many Democrats thought Trump’s phone conversation should be the basis of the nation’s third presidential impeachment. In meticulous fashion, he details the stunning number of high-ranking officials—such as Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union—who were in on the game.” — Washington Post
“An important book from a true patriot whose oath to the Constitution could not allow him to look away.” — Kirkus Reviews
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman (Ret. ) was most recently the director for European Affairs on the White House’s National Security Council. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Army, he served as a foreign area officer with assignments in U.S. embassies in Kyiv, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. He is currently a doctoral student and Foreign Policy Institute Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a Pritzker Military Fellow at the Lawfare Institute, a board member of the Renew Democracy Initiative nonprofit, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House.
Cuba: An American History
By Ada Ferrer
Scribner, September 2021
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History
In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, where a momentous revolution had taken power three years earlier. For more than half a century, the stand-off continued—through the tenure of ten American presidents and the fifty-year rule of Fidel Castro. His death in 2016, and the retirement of his brother and successor Raúl Castro in 2021, have spurred questions about the country’s future. Meanwhile, politics in Washington—Barack Obama’s opening to the island, Donald Trump’s reversal of that policy, and the election of Joe Biden—have made the relationship between the two nations a subject of debate once more.
Now, award-winning historian Ada Ferrer delivers an “important” and moving chronicle that demands a new reckoning with both the island’s past and its relationship with the United States. Spanning more than five centuries, Cuba: An American History provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade.
Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in U.S. affairs. This is a story that will give Americans unexpected insights into the history of their own nation and, in so doing, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba; “readers will close [this] fascinating book with a sense of hope” (The Economist).
“Full of…lively insights and lucid prose” an epic, sweeping history of Cuba and its complex ties to the United States—from before the arrival of Columbus to the present day—written by one of the world’s leading historians of Cuba. —The Wall Street Journal
“The heroes of Ada Ferrer’s narrative are the island’s nationalists and reformers. . . . [She] reveals a relationship that is deeper and more troubled than it may appear. . . . Yet readers will close Ms. Ferrer’s fascinating book with a sense of hope. . . . moving.” —The Economist
A fluid, consistently informative history of the long, inextricable link between Cuba and the U.S., well rendered by a veteran Cuban American historian. . . . Ferrer is an endlessly knowledgeable guide. . . . She is especially good in delineating how a distinct Cuban identity was forged over the centuries. A wonderfully nuanced history of the island nation and its often troubled dealings with its gigantic and voracious neighbor.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Ada Ferrer’s astonishing Cuba succeeds brilliantly with an original approach, written in two voices, folded together seamlessly—one personal, from the depths of family transplantation, and the other a historian’s lyrical narrative. She captures the epic sweep of the island’s story of slavery, massive sugar production, colonialism, and revolution. But she also shows how Cuba and the United States have so long been joined at the hip in shared culture, political crises, and tragedy for the famous and the ordinary. Ferrer’s own ‘heavy inheritance’ is North America’s as well. Above all, Ferrer has achieved a page-turning masterpiece of her craft; rarely is good history this kind of literary performance.” —David W. Blight, Yale University, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
“Revolutions breed history wars. The role of such forces as colonialism and capitalism, nationalism and imperialism, slavery, race, and socialism, for example, in the shaping of the Cuban past has long been contested terrain. Traversing it demands sober judgement and a steady hand. Fortunately for her readers, Ada Ferrer possesses both in abundance. Hers is a balanced, revelatory, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of the complex history of this endlessly fascinating country and its relationship with its powerful neighbor. This elegantly written book is as much the history of a country that, for far too many Americans, remains exotic and enigmatic, as it is a surprisingly revealing history of the United States itself, viewed through a lens ninety miles away.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ada Ferrer is Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she has taught since 1995. She is the author of Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898, winner of the Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history, and Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution, which won the Frederick Douglass Book Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University as well as multiple prizes from the American Historical Association. Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, she has been traveling to and conducting research on the island since 1990.
Brezhnev: The Making of a Statesman
By Susanne Schattenberg, Translated from the German by John Heath
I.B.Tauris, November 2I21
Leonid Brezhnev was leader of the Soviet Union for eighteen years, a term of leadership second only in length to that of Stalin. He presided over the Brezhnev Doctrine, which accelerated the Cold War, and led the Soviet Union through catastrophic foreign policy decisions such as the invasion of Afghanistan. To many in the West, he is responsible for the stagnation (and to some even collapse) of the Soviet Union. But much of this history has been based on the only two English-language biographies (both published before Brezhnev’s death and without access to archival sources) and Brezhnev’s own astonishingly untrue memoirs – written for propaganda purposes. Newly translated from German, Schattenberg’s book. . . systematically dismantles the stereotypical and one-dimensional view of Brezhnev as the stagnating Stalinist by drawing on a wealth of archival research and documents not previously studied in English. The Brezhnev that emerges is a complex one, from his early apolitical years, when he dreamed of becoming an actor, through his swift and surprising rise through the Party ranks. And from his hitherto misunderstood role in Khrushchev’s ousting and appointment as his successor, to his somewhat pro-Western foreign policy aims, deft consolidation and management of power, and ultimate descent into addiction and untimely death. For Schattenberg, this is the story of a flawed and ineffectual idealist; for the West, this biography makes a convincing case that Brezhnev should be reappraised as one of the most interesting and important political figures of the twentieth century.
“Following Stalin’s reign of terror and Khrushchev’s erratic reforms, Leonid Brezhnev tried to stabilize the Soviet system. Brezhnev, his first full and in-depth portrait, draws on long-secret sources to chronicle his rise, his rule, and his contributions both to the growth of Soviet power and the USSR’s eventual disintegration, along with his own.” ―William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003), and of Gorbachev: His Life and Times (2017)
“A compelling new view of Brezhnev, demythologizing his early life and career, and using recently-opened archival materials to present his two decades in power as Soviet leader in an unfamiliar light. Schattenberg shows him introducing a new style of ‘caring’ interactions with colleagues as well as consolidating the long-promised Soviet welfare state at home and striving for détente abroad. But his decline in his last years (from addiction to sedatives, it turns out, not just old age) marred his legacy.” ―Sheila Fitzpatrick, Author of On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics (2015)
“The benchmark against which all future biographies of Leonid Brezhnev will be measured, Susanne Schattenberg’s Brezhnev: The Making of a Statesman, now available in English, is the most informed, detailed, judicious, accessible, and academic account of this pivotal Soviet leader. Filling a real gap in the literature, the wide-ranging study is a must read for anyone interested in the twilight years of Soviet socialism.” ―Donald J. Raleigh, author of Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia’s Cold War Generation (2012) “
Using abundant archival sources and literature for Brezhnev’s political biography, Susanne Schattenberg presents a picture of a rather flexible and politically active leader, thus shattering the image of Brezhnev as a symbol of stagnation.” ―Saulius Grybkauskas Senior Research Fellow Lithuanian Institute of History
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susanne Schattenberg is Professor of Contemporary History and Culture of Eastern Europe and the Director of the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen. She has published numerous books and articles in English, Russian and German including, most recently, the first academic biography of Brezhnev (published in English, German, and Russian).