Cover of the book featuring Marie Yovanovitch looking into the camera with the words "Lessons from the Edge" at the top

Cover of the book, courtesy of the publisher

Words and IdeasOnline Programs

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch—Lessons from the Edge

Online Talk

Tuesday, May 24, 6:00 pm (PT)

About the Program

Join Writers Bloc Presents® and the Skirball Cultural Center for an online talk with former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in conversation with Angela Stent, senior adviser to the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and professor emerita of government and foreign service at Georgetown University.

Ambassador Yovanovitch, celebrated Russia expert, possibly knows more about Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky and current Ukraine politics, and President Vladimir Putin than pretty much anyone around. After all, she served as US Ambassador to Ukraine for more than three years, and before that, she was Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy in Kyiv. Appointed by President Barack Obama to the top diplomacy post in Kyiv, and later disparaged 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 impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump.

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, regarded by many as a campaign of corruption and lies targeting a diplomat who served her country for over thirty years. She recounts her fear and shock as her stellar diplomatic reputation was decried by President Trump's team and his followers. Recall her steady and undaunted testimony in the first impeachment trial, as she discussed the intimidation she faced by the US State Department, and by the President. In Lessons from the Edge, Ambassador Yovanovitch reveals American diplomacy writ large—its promise, idealism, and inherent value to the world—as well as its occasional and quiet support of undemocratic governments around the world.

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Rebekah and Howard Farber