[Yovanovitch's] memoir, Lessons From the Edge, is a front row seat to the disinformation campaign that ultimately saw her removed from her last overseas post: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine ... This book also provides insight into the post-Soviet Union politics of Russia and Ukraine, both now dominating the news. And it pays homage to Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) and the work they do, and a career that still remains a mystery to many Americans ... She didn't seek to be an iconoclast. She writes that in testifying she didn't want to burn down the house. If anything, she seems to have written this memoir not just to finally be able to speak up for herself, but also to inform people about the work FSOs do for America, supporting whoever is elected to lead.
Lessons From the Edge is an exemplary diplomatic memoir, exhibiting a real gift for storytelling despite Yovanovitch’s straight-arrow personality. Not for her the self-delusion and moral equivocation that make Shakespearean characters out of such Trump World veterans as William Barr ... Over and over again, Yovanovitch expresses astonishment that 'private interests' were able to commandeer American foreign policy and get a U.S. ambassador dismissed for reasons that even the State Department itself admitted were baseless ... That’s the impression left by Lessons From the Edge: that Yovanovitch...inhabits a different ethical universe not only from Trump but from nearly everyone else who sold their souls to work in his White House ... despite her brief, harrowing sojourn through the alternate dimension of Trump World, Yovanovitch retains her optimism.
Yovanovitch divulges in granular detail the situation on the ground in every country she served while illuminating the deft juggling act required when one is charged with bringing democracy to nations mired in totalitarianism or authoritarianism. Nowhere was that task more challenging than in her posting as ambassador to Ukraine during the Trump administration ... A superbly crafted and intimately revealing self-portrait of a true hero of American diplomacy.
[A] stinging memoir ... [A] gripping account ... An engrossing recap of her diplomatic career ... 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.