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  • Oh, Ambassador, I don't really read biographies and autobiographies because I have this kind of slightly pompous view, which is that it's a kind of inefficient way of collecting facts.

  • Eso reading your book was kind of unusual for me.

  • And, uh, what made me think This'll peculiar thing Now, which is, on the one hand, I like defer to you enormously.

  • And I kind of wish I read this book when I was 20.

  • I might have made something of myself.

  • You know, you're completely inspirational figure.

  • So I'm kind of down here looking up at you.

  • On the other hand, I know so much more about you than you know about me.

  • So I've got the upper hand as we're already Because the book is full of this stuff.

  • Why did you want to write it?

  • And why did you choose to write it in such a kind of open way?

  • I mean, you know, not just this, but there's a whole section, the book about how challenging you found relationships before you melt with our good friend CASS Sunstein.

  • Good or as a friend.

  • So why did you decide to share all that stuff?

  • If, um, it's the right question.

  • I mean, I don't know that this book would, uh, look this way or have taken this form.

  • Um, if, for example, Secretary Clinton had been elected president.

  • You know, I wrote this book in the shadow of current events.

  • Shall we say generously?

  • And I think that we're at a moment where we're not listening to one another.

  • All that well, um, where we have our each of us, including me.

  • We have our fixed positions.

  • Um, I believed and now very much believed that had I written something that was sort of explaining why I think my worldview is preferable toe, you know, shunning diversity and shunning allies and shunning values and shunning human rights.

  • Um, you know, I would have been writing that for people who agree with me already.

  • And maybe that's in the end.

  • Who will read this book?

  • A swell, but t tell just a good story.

  • I'm originally Irish, and there were two sort of dimensions of being Irish that we're at war in me.

  • Um, as I was writing, one was like, You can't get a word in edgewise at the dinner table.

  • If you can't tell a good story and you lose the attention of even your parents if you trail off or if you don't get your punch line.

  • Just so.

  • And and so that was sort of the inner from Ireland originally.

  • And, you know, I felt compelled to try to tell a story that zoomed and that people would wanna be along for the ride on.

  • But there's also a saying that, you know, Irish people have trouble using the first person, even in therapy on Duh.

  • And I definitely found the I initially just extremely presumptuous to write a memoir.

  • Uh, you know, especially one that went back to my double in childhood that went back to being a war correspondent.

  • It was one thing initially when I began working on it, I thought, I'll write in the first person because that's I'll tell a better story.

  • That way I'll overcome that barrier.

  • But I'll only do so in a way.

  • That's kind of as it relates to Barack Obama, because because Barack Obama's who people's interest, who people are mainly interested in.

  • But then I realized you don't actually care about the character of Samantha.

  • If you don't know why she believes what she believes, or what drew her to this person, this historic figure in the first place.

  • And so the upshot was, in the end, I felt I needed to go more personal to make the character that happens to be me more relatable and particularly, um, you know, you mentioned Yes, I talk about my failed romantic, uh, journey.

  • Uh, you know, prior to meeting cast, I talk about IVF and fertility.

  • I've given you one of the most graphic scenes of the book here, but beyond that, I talk about my doubts along the way and that, as I began to write, came to feel like one of the most important dimensions because what's happened is, since I had the privilege of representing the United States on the world stage and representing again a figure like Barack Obama, I have found myself become less relatable toe to young people like, in other words, they might say, Here's an idea for you know how how one might go about progressing in the next phase on LGBT rights.

  • And I see my students looking me thinking, Yeah, well, that's easy for you to say.

  • You're the former U.

  • N.

  • Ambassador.

  • You know you can get a New York Times op ed published like, What Do I?

  • What's my role in all of this?

  • And so by going back to the beginning and by being very open about me asking myself those questions pretty much at every stage, I mean, even Barack Obama is asking himself, has asked himself those questions of what can one person do?

  • Um, I think that's where people are right now and so meeting people where they are in a place where they are activated a bit horrified.

  • Um, not sure whether anything that either an individual or their set of friends can do can make a dent in what ails us.

  • That's been the story through human history, but most government memoirs don't open up the inside.

  • I was saying that actually comes from a Alcoholics Anonymous, which is never compare your insides to someone else's outsides.

  • And so what I try to do in the book is put the insides out there so that people who are asking themselves every day am I going to activate, or am I going to change the channel and watch something other than Brexit?

  • Just watch sport or you know, Just listen to my music.

  • I want them to know that you're not alone and that we have.

  • We do have a collective action problem.

  • Everybody gets paralyzed by their smallness will be where we are and worse with time.

  • And so that that was the the Enterprise.

  • And so far, at least, as it relates Thio, the young people who I've engaged on the book, I think it has achieved that purpose of rendering the larger story of how to make how to make an effort to try to make a difference relatable, you know, and and something that people feel that they too, can do that.

  • You don't have to be U N ambassador to do your thing.

Oh, Ambassador, I don't really read biographies and autobiographies because I have this kind of slightly pompous view, which is that it's a kind of inefficient way of collecting facts.

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What One Person Can Do with Samantha Power

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/23
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