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Lessons from the edge : a memoir
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Publishers Weekly Review
The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who got unwillingly caught up in Donald Trump's first impeachment, examines corruption abroad and at home in this stinging memoir. Yovanovitch was removed from her ambassadorship in Kiev in 2019 amid fabricated accusations of collusion with Ukrainian figures to subvert the 2016 U.S. presidential election and claims that she "had spoken with 'disdain' about the Trump administration." As she writes, the allegations arose from efforts by Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and a Ukrainian prosecutor to tar candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter with insinuations of corrupt dealings in Ukraine. Yovanovitch gives a gripping account of this Kafkaesque scandal, complete with Trump's drive-by tweets--"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad"--and her moving testimony at congressional impeachment hearings. She sets it within an engrossing recap of her diplomatic career in postings to Somalia and ex-Soviet nations, during which she was subjected to sexist indignities (while ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, she was asked by a press attaché to serve cookies to a reporter) and enmeshed in wrangles to promote reforms aimed at bolstering human rights and reducing rampant corruption in foreign governments (and, eventually, America's). Full of shrewd insights and bitter ironies, Yovanovitch's saga offers a revealing insider's take on the labyrinth of foreign policy and on one of the most sordid episodes of Trump's presidency. Photos. (Mar.)
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