I just finished “ Lessons From The Edge: A Memoir” by Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who served as US Ambassador to Ukraine in 2016–2019 and found herself entangled in the events that ultimately led to Donald Trump’s impeachment. Her book, an extraordinary piece of work, offers an engaging narrative that will captivate anyone with an interest in Eastern Europe or the circumstances surrounding Trump’s impeachment. Furthermore, the book provides readers with a profound appreciation for the intricate and essential role of diplomats.
Prior to her tenure in Ukraine, Yovanovitch had served as the US Ambassador to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, accumulating a wealth of experiences in these diverse nations. Moreover, her extensive background includes various positions held in Ukraine, Russia, London, and Somalia. Throughout her career, she bore witness to pivotal moments in the histories of these countries, which, given her role as a foreign diplomat, is not surprising. The stories she shares are enthralling, shedding light on critical aspects such as Russia’s relationship with Eastern Europe, the United States’ interests in the region, and the struggles and histories of the nations themselves.
While the book does not directly delve into Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine (partly because it was released less than a month after the full-scale invasion), Yovanovitch’s accounts of Russia’s pre-2022 behavior towards its neighbors and other countries underscore the imperative need to recognize Russia as a long-standing threat to global peace. Additionally, her personal recollection of the events surrounding her removal as Ambassador and the state of the US State Department under the Trump administration instills a sense of unease when contemplating the potential re-election of Trump.
In summary, this book had an undeniable grip on my attention, offering valuable insights at every turn. I gained a profound understanding of many important events and the inner workings of diplomacy. I highly recommend this book to everyone. The epilogue alone is worth it.