Vera and the Ambassador: Escape and Return

( 1 )

Overview

A behind-the-scenes look at diplomacy and international relations in post-communist Eastern Europe.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Hardcover
$22.75
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$24.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $4.99   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

A behind-the-scenes look at diplomacy and international relations in post-communist Eastern Europe.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this book one can learn a lot of details about an ambassador and his wife representing the United States between 1994 and 1997 with experience, knowledge, passion, conviction, and worthy ethnic engagements … Anyone interested in going to work for the State Department might wish to read this book. Wannabe ambassadors and companions ought to make it required reading. Everybody else might take a look to see why some of our international politics turn out the way they do.” — East Hampton Star

“…one of the best autobiographies in recent years … readers will appreciate the [Blinkens’] take on the 1990s in East[ern] Europe.” — MBR Bookwatch

“…a revealing and fascinating dual memoir…” — ForeWord Magazine

“…a candid behind-the-scenes look at the glamour and challenges of diplomatic life … The energetic narration moves seamlessly from historical to contemporary political themes to the more personal and particular highlight of the book—accompanying Vera Blinken as she rediscovers what remains of the Budapest of her childhood.” — Publishers Weekly

“…a gripping account of a refugee’s escape and an engaging peek at the social and cultural aspects of ambassadorial life.” — Foreign Affairs

“President Clinton made a wise choice in sending Donald and Vera Blinken to Hungary. This book serves as a reminder of the critical role that ambassadors can play in advancing the interests of our country at the pivot points of history. Their teamwork was good for Hungary, good for our country, and it also makes for a great story.” — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Spend time with Vera and the ambassador—in person or in this book—and you encounter a remarkable American couple. Their devotion to each other, to our country, and to freedom is a treasure of our times.” — Bill Moyers

“What a life! Vera and Donald Blinken are the ultimate power couple whose wise and witty understanding of our world should be required reading for everyone in public service. This is also a love story—love of country, love for each other—that will inspire generations to come. Vera and the Ambassador is a diplomatic coup.” — Lynn Sherr, ABC News

“…provides honest insight into the role an ambassador and his spouse played in an emerging democracy.” — George Soros

Publishers Weekly

The Blinkens alternate chapters to recount their years as the U.S. ambassadorial couple to Hungary during Bill Clinton's first term as president. Vera Blinken escaped Hungary as a child with her mother after WWII as the iron curtain started its descent on central Europe. Donald Blinken, a former investment banker, was appointed at the dawn of Hungary's nascent democracy and entry into the world economy, and negotiated its entry into NATO. Together they breathed new life into U.S.-Hungary relations, negotiated the opening of American military bases that contributed to the end of the Bosnian conflict and started health initiatives in the local community. Theirs is a candid behind-the-scenes look at the glamour and challenges of diplomatic life: along with consorting with the pope and Madonna came inevitable security concerns, death-defying trips in formerly Soviet helicopters and the struggle to reshape attitudes toward what was perceived as American cultural imperialism. The energetic narration moves seamlessly from historical to contemporary political themes to the more personal and particular highlight of the book-accompanying Vera Blinken as she rediscovers what remains of the Budapest of her childhood. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438426631
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Vera Blinken was born in Budapest and came to the United States in 1950. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in art history and practiced interior design, first at the architectural firm of Edward Durell Stone, and later as the founder of Vera Evans Interiors. In 1996, while living in Hungary as the wife of the ambassador, she founded PRIMAVERA, the first mobile breast cancer screening program in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2002, for services to the Hungarian people, she was awarded the Middle Cross of the Republic of Hungary.

Donald Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 1994 to 1998, is a native New Yorker. He graduated magna cum laude in economics at Harvard University and cofounded the investment banking/venture capital firm of E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. He is currently co-Chair of Columbia University’s European Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The Blinkens live in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue

Part I: Vera

Escape
Return

Part II: Donald

Getting There
Early Days

Part III: Vera

Being There

Part IV: Donald

Getting Things Done

Epilogue
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This memoir provides alternating insider looks at Hungary during a critical adjustment point

    President Clinton appointed financial banker Donald Blinken as the American ambassador to, Hungary. Mr. Clinton selected Mr. Blinken because the President understood the fledgling democracy would need someone who could help the country adjust to the global economy and Donald's wife Vera was born and raised in Budapest; as a child she and her mom fled just after WWII ended and the Soviets brought down the Iron Curtain.

    This memoir provides alternating insider looks at Hungary during a critical adjustment point. Rotating perspectives, Donald's sections enable the reader to obtain a glimpse at world events impacting the former Communist nation such as joining NATO and helping with the Bosnia crisis. Vera's entries are more personal as she compares the 1990s Budapest to her memoirs of living there in the 1940s. VERA AND THE AMBASSADOR is one of the best autobiographies in recent years, as readers will appreciate the couples' take on the 1990s in East Europe with Hungary as their prime focus as well as the historical viewpoint of how much the capital changed in four plus decades of Soviet rule.

    Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)