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Here, Right Matters: An American Story

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The former National Security Council staffer who testified against President Trump during his impeachment proceedings early this year is planning to publish a memoir detailing his experience.


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The former National Security Council staffer who testified against President Trump during his impeachment proceedings early this year is planning to publish a memoir detailing his experience.

30 review for Here, Right Matters: An American Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    This memoir is well written, concise, relevant and important. This young man honors truth, duty and integrity in the face of onerous circumstances. He is an American hero. The tragedy is he had to be a hero when dozens of other people should have stepped up before, during and after he was forced into his crucible. The book is a reliable memorandum of events of great historical importance. He is a strong and principled person whose hard work has earned a great education and life experiences he cher This memoir is well written, concise, relevant and important. This young man honors truth, duty and integrity in the face of onerous circumstances. He is an American hero. The tragedy is he had to be a hero when dozens of other people should have stepped up before, during and after he was forced into his crucible. The book is a reliable memorandum of events of great historical importance. He is a strong and principled person whose hard work has earned a great education and life experiences he cherishes. I predict we will not see the end of Alexander Vindman.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paula Jean

    True American Hero I read this book in record time. I couldn’t put the book down. I hope and pray we have learned and continue to learn what a true hero looks like. Alexander Vindman is a true hero.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    The United States is a country of immigrants. Except for Native Americans, all Americans have ancestors who came here from elsewhere - whether it was generations ago, or more recently. Alexander Vindman’s immigrant experience is fairly recent. Perhaps that is why he truly appreciates all the opportunities that are available to U.S. citizens - opportunities that most of us take for granted. In this honest and heartfelt autobiography, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman tells his family’s story. The United States is a country of immigrants. Except for Native Americans, all Americans have ancestors who came here from elsewhere - whether it was generations ago, or more recently. Alexander Vindman’s immigrant experience is fairly recent. Perhaps that is why he truly appreciates all the opportunities that are available to U.S. citizens - opportunities that most of us take for granted. In this honest and heartfelt autobiography, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman tells his family’s story. It is one of family values, respect, hard work, determination, and courage. After a period of uncertainty, Alexander enlisted in the army with a goal of making military service his career. As his career expanded, he was offered a position on the National Security Agency staff as an expert on Eastern Europe and Russia. In this capacity, he was one of a group of staff members who listened in on a phone call in July of 2019 that then President Trump was placing to newly elected President Zelensky of Ukraine. During this phone call, the staff in the room heard a highly unusual, disturbing and inappropriate request made by the President. This incident was so concerning that Lt. Colonel Vindman felt duty bound to report it up the chain of command. This act of courage and truthfulness would incur the wrath, vindictiveness, and retribution of the President and those who followed his dictates. The people who knew what was said in the phone call were either too cowardly or too focused on their own careers to stand up for the United States’ leadership in international diplomacy and their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. This is a riveting book which sheds light on the inner workings of the United States government. It is a testament to the courage of a man who chose to stand up and speak out because, as Lt. Colonel Vindman so eloquently stated, “Here, Right Matters”.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mlg

    This book shames both the liars of the previous administration and the brass of the Army, who basically deserted this man for telling the truth. The expertise lost in the previous administration was appalling. The fact that he was unable to receive the Defense Senior Service Medal, something that he was entitled to, but the WH wouldn’t sign off on it, shows what petty, duplicitous men inhabited the last administration and what a shameful job the Republicans did in enabling the past president. Ye This book shames both the liars of the previous administration and the brass of the Army, who basically deserted this man for telling the truth. The expertise lost in the previous administration was appalling. The fact that he was unable to receive the Defense Senior Service Medal, something that he was entitled to, but the WH wouldn’t sign off on it, shows what petty, duplicitous men inhabited the last administration and what a shameful job the Republicans did in enabling the past president. Yes, “here, right matters”, but that so many institutions and individuals showed no character in the persecution of this man, is shameful. We are not the country we think we are, and we have a long way to go to become decent again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Galella

    Starts with a bang in the midst of the phone call everyone wants to hear about. The next 6 chapters take a BIG step backwards… Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has a factual writing style. It’s easy to read, free from pretentiousness and kind of refreshing in a sea of self aggrandizing publications of late. He doesn’t try to be anything other than who he is - a soldier serving his country and upholding his sworn duty, whatever the cost. There isn’t any humor, lightheartedness or sarcasm; just facts and Starts with a bang in the midst of the phone call everyone wants to hear about. The next 6 chapters take a BIG step backwards… Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has a factual writing style. It’s easy to read, free from pretentiousness and kind of refreshing in a sea of self aggrandizing publications of late. He doesn’t try to be anything other than who he is - a soldier serving his country and upholding his sworn duty, whatever the cost. There isn’t any humor, lightheartedness or sarcasm; just facts and duty, as he sees it. That’s the character of the first part while he’s telling family history from Russia and Ukraine, his childhood, schooling, early military, marriage and foray into national service via the army eventually being assigned to the National Security Counsel. Once Vindman reports the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky and begins the process of navigating his way thru the political labyrinth of D. C., there’s another voice being heard. Snippets of sound bites and snarky passages are nothing like what is written early on. There’s not a lot of it, but enough to be annoying. Vindman speaks candidly about the whistleblower; no spoilers here, read the book. His life and those of his family members have been forever altered because of this experience. He’s gone back to school, sought new employment and found a passion for inspirational writing, which is how he closes the book. The Lt. Col. shares 6 lessons/guidelines he learned thru the experience. You can read them in the Epilogue but some you’ll have heard already. If nothing else, Vindman is changed and he’s telling everyone about it📚

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anntonette

    A heroic tale from a man who truly loves this country, as proven by his honesty, courage, and sacrifice. Recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    This man is an American hero. Sometimes doing the right thing gets you punished. He stayed true to his oath to defend our country, and should have been rewarded. Eye-opening story. Couldn't put it down! I love the double entendre of the title! If you read this book and still support the party of Donald Trump, you are not "right". This man is an American hero. Sometimes doing the right thing gets you punished. He stayed true to his oath to defend our country, and should have been rewarded. Eye-opening story. Couldn't put it down! I love the double entendre of the title! If you read this book and still support the party of Donald Trump, you are not "right".

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    I salute you sir. Your guidance would be well advised to all members of our Congress. Too many members don't understand service for love of our Constitution. As a fellow retired officer I extend my hand in thanks for your outstanding service. I salute you sir. Your guidance would be well advised to all members of our Congress. Too many members don't understand service for love of our Constitution. As a fellow retired officer I extend my hand in thanks for your outstanding service.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    Lt. Col. Vindman taught all of us what it means to be Real American, one who loves his/her country, and is willing to sacrifice so much in pursuit of the truth. He represents the best this country has to offer. It just makes me sick that his superior officers didn't have the guts to stand up to Trump, push for Lt. Col. Vindman's promotion to full Colonel, and didn't have his back when it was needed. But, in the end, he emerged stronger and more empowered to go to bigger and better things, always Lt. Col. Vindman taught all of us what it means to be Real American, one who loves his/her country, and is willing to sacrifice so much in pursuit of the truth. He represents the best this country has to offer. It just makes me sick that his superior officers didn't have the guts to stand up to Trump, push for Lt. Col. Vindman's promotion to full Colonel, and didn't have his back when it was needed. But, in the end, he emerged stronger and more empowered to go to bigger and better things, always doing what's best for America.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cyndy

    I couldn't put this down. What a family story! Truly the American Dream. What he faced at the end of his exemplary military career is heartbreaking. Highly recommend! I couldn't put this down. What a family story! Truly the American Dream. What he faced at the end of his exemplary military career is heartbreaking. Highly recommend!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Interesting story that I really appreciated because Vindman did what was right with little regard what it meant to him and his family. The writing I felt was a little rough. At times I found it hard to follow, but he did get into what he knew well - the expectations of the military and the politics involved in Washington.

  12. 5 out of 5

    April

    Great book! Well written, engaging, and informative, with a very interesting immigrant story. Vindman describes how the lives, dreams, and support from his ancestors and current family, along with lessons from his childhood and long military career combined to lead to a single key ethical choice in his life and in the history of the United States. He also writes about what it's like when you think your life is well planned to go one way but you get caught up in events largely beyond your control Great book! Well written, engaging, and informative, with a very interesting immigrant story. Vindman describes how the lives, dreams, and support from his ancestors and current family, along with lessons from his childhood and long military career combined to lead to a single key ethical choice in his life and in the history of the United States. He also writes about what it's like when you think your life is well planned to go one way but you get caught up in events largely beyond your control that force you to embody your values in a way few of us are challenged to do, changing your life forever. Vindman writes that he wants to be someone his daughter can be proud of. As Kipling said, " If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools....", you will have succeeded. I think Vindman's done that, both with his book and with his life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gary Martin

    An insider's view of history as it was being made. In some ways, this reminds me of Tolkien. It reiterates the theme that the course of history may be changed by the deeds of ordinary people swept up in events beyond their control, as is seen in the Lord of the Rings. Col. Vindman was the right man, in the right place, at the right time, and did the right thing. Because of him it may turn out that this nation can turn back from path of corruption, decay, and ultimately decline, upon which Donald An insider's view of history as it was being made. In some ways, this reminds me of Tolkien. It reiterates the theme that the course of history may be changed by the deeds of ordinary people swept up in events beyond their control, as is seen in the Lord of the Rings. Col. Vindman was the right man, in the right place, at the right time, and did the right thing. Because of him it may turn out that this nation can turn back from path of corruption, decay, and ultimately decline, upon which Donald J. Trump would lead it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marks54

    I normally do not read and review current memoirs around the latest political controversy. That is because I have likely been following the details on various media and so a book would be redundant. There is also the problem of self-justification and immediacy clouding the perspective necessary to write a good account of a complex political situation. Mark Twain was generally right about the difficulties of autobiographies. I made an exception for Vindman’s book. He was not your typical political I normally do not read and review current memoirs around the latest political controversy. That is because I have likely been following the details on various media and so a book would be redundant. There is also the problem of self-justification and immediacy clouding the perspective necessary to write a good account of a complex political situation. Mark Twain was generally right about the difficulties of autobiographies. I made an exception for Vindman’s book. He was not your typical political hack trying to score off his last job before crashing in a catastrophe. Just read his book and that is apparent. Vindman’s story is more that of someone who found himself thrust into an ethical dilemma in which the safe options were not (and went against) the ethical choices. Many if not most of us do not find ourselves in a situation where the “right” course does not align with self-interest and is downright costly. The interesting question about such situations is what would we do? Would we do what is right? …or would be play it safe and not do what is right? … or perhaps we would do something wrong when faced with the situation. Alexander Vindman faced such a situation over the Presidential phone call with the Ukrainian president and decided to do the right thing. The rest, as they say, is history. The first half of the book is his personal story, which I knew a little bit about. He uses it to set up his choices about becoming a whistle blower and testifying before Congress. The story generally works although you have to wonder a bit how he did not see more of what was headed his way. The remainder of the story discusses the testimony and its aftermath. It reads like a personal train wreck in slow motion but it was not surprising. If anything else had happened it would have been much less believable. He puts a personal development and character story, aided by a supportive family, on this and it generally rings true. The book is well developed and reads easily. The account is believable. Vindman’s story is not over yet and I have no doubt we will hear more from him. …at least I hope so. “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” is well worth reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Star rating is probably 4.5, not quite 5 of 5. I don't often enjoy memoirs of living celebrities, politicians or others in the public eye. I might not have read this had not my book club chosen it. I'm glad they did. Vindman comes across as intelligent, confident yet sometimes self-deprecating, and most of all, a good citizen. After a brief chapter that takes us to the heart of why we know his name - THAT phone call - he gives us a summary of his life and the lessons learned that led him to the s Star rating is probably 4.5, not quite 5 of 5. I don't often enjoy memoirs of living celebrities, politicians or others in the public eye. I might not have read this had not my book club chosen it. I'm glad they did. Vindman comes across as intelligent, confident yet sometimes self-deprecating, and most of all, a good citizen. After a brief chapter that takes us to the heart of why we know his name - THAT phone call - he gives us a summary of his life and the lessons learned that led him to the situation in which he found himself one morning in July, 2019. Throughout his schooling and military career, he talks of his constant learning experiences at every step of the way. I admire a person who is a constant learner, no matter what life throws at him. This book accomplishes several things, other than the obvious detailed report on President Trump's efforts to subvert the Constitution. It gives us a classic immigrant story - the Vindmans escaped Ukraine and the Soviet Union in 1979 - and the value of immigrants to our nation. It gives us a first-person view of the army training that most of us have never and will never experience. He gives us an excellent view of what goes on in analyzing foreign security threats and how they can affect our foreign policy. And finally, we get a first-person description of what it is like to testify before Congress. That's quite a life he has led. His family, especially his twin brother and his wife, feature prominently and were a big part of who he is, why he felt compelled to report the phone call up the chain of command, and how he survived the threats and hate mail he received. Quite a story, indeed, and worth reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months that followed, the American public would only learn what happened on that call because Alexander Vindman felt duty-bound to report it up the chain of command: that the President of the United States had extorted a foreign ally to damage a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions and subsequent testimony before congress would lead to Trump’ 0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months that followed, the American public would only learn what happened on that call because Alexander Vindman felt duty-bound to report it up the chain of command: that the President of the United States had extorted a foreign ally to damage a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions and subsequent testimony before congress would lead to Trump’s impeachment and affirm Vindman's belief that he had done the right thing in the face of intense pressure to stay silent. But it would come at an enormous cost, straining relationships with colleagues, superiors, and even his own father, and eventually end his decorated career in the US Army, by a Trump administration intent on retribution.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I have so much respect for this man! He and his family coming here as immigrants and succeeding as they all did; for LTC Vindman and his brother both to rise up into the upper echelons of American government is what our country was founded on, what we have fought for. LTC Vindman’s dedication to duty, his strong, unbending moral compass is something to admire. I only wish that there were more people like him in public service today.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie E.

    Brilliant. Once read this quote somewhere: “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Lt. Col. Vindman’s story is remarkable and gives hope that there are still good and brave people with a strong moral compass who will do the right thing. Courage and honor lifts us all up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Norris

    Excellent accounting of Vindman’s life and career in the military & foreign service. Inside accounts of his experience telling the truth about Trump’s attempt to undermine our constitution by leveraging Ukraine to help with his election. Very focused, inspiring and, in the end, hopeful!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sandi Banks

    Alexander Vindman was satisfied with his career in the military. He felt fortunate that at his high level assignment at the National Security Council he could make a contribution to his country. Vindman is this memoir relates his life story in way that gives the reader a perspective about his growth and commitment to his family and country. His moral compass is tested when he witnesses the conversation between President Trump and the President of the Ukraine. This is book by a resilient patriot.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Hammons

    A touching book which gave a personal view of the life of a family of refugees from the Soviet Union and an interesting window into his experiences climbing the professional ladder in the U.S. military. It was interesting to read about his inside involvement in Washington and how he ended up testifying before Congress. He seems to be an optimistic, good-hearted person with a constant faith in the American system.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Kelley

    One of the best memoirs I have read. I like so many others found myself glued to the television watching this testimony. At the time all I could think was what a hero. I was so proud to have such an upstanding young man sitting there representing our military, doing the right thing in the face of such bad behavior by the commander-in-chief and the Republicans who supported him. Knowing the type of person in the White House, anyone could foresee what would be coming his way. What I did not forese One of the best memoirs I have read. I like so many others found myself glued to the television watching this testimony. At the time all I could think was what a hero. I was so proud to have such an upstanding young man sitting there representing our military, doing the right thing in the face of such bad behavior by the commander-in-chief and the Republicans who supported him. Knowing the type of person in the White House, anyone could foresee what would be coming his way. What I did not foresee was that the Army specifically and the entire military community in general, would not stand up and defend one of their own who had behaved so admirably. This book was riveting, explaining the day-to-day of what he went through. I enjoyed the background explaining how he became the man he is. He is such a young man, so principled, intelligent, exemplifies "Here, Right Matters." I feel he still has a lot to offer and hopefully we have not seen the last of Col. Vindman.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natalie T.

    Straightforward, inspiring account of Lt. Col. Vindman's life, with particular focus on the events that brought him into the public eye. Written in plain language with no pussyfooting around, and he's blunt about what he considers his own mistakes or misreadings of situations--he's not out to glorify himself, but simply to explain what happened and why he made difficult choices. How refreshing to read a book by someone with a true moral compass, rather than a million excuses for not doing the ri Straightforward, inspiring account of Lt. Col. Vindman's life, with particular focus on the events that brought him into the public eye. Written in plain language with no pussyfooting around, and he's blunt about what he considers his own mistakes or misreadings of situations--he's not out to glorify himself, but simply to explain what happened and why he made difficult choices. How refreshing to read a book by someone with a true moral compass, rather than a million excuses for not doing the right thing. Vindman also readily shares credit with others who helped him, particularly his remarkable wife, Rachel. Their love story adds a lot of (unexpected) charm to the book. A good book to share with teens, if you have any in your household. Vindman has a lot to offer as a role model; I particularly admire his advice for what to do when your plans for your future suddenly go up in smoke.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Budd Margolis

    I am impressed with the devotion of service and creed, the discipline and commitment which today is extraordinary when surrounded by sycophants and divisionists. Alexander Vindman is intelligent and a brave soldier who defended his country with honour and compassion in defence of our constitution, rights & privileges. Alexander Vindman stepped up when he was needed and for those who perform, under enormous pressure and personal sacrifice, and do what is right despite the consequences? They shoul I am impressed with the devotion of service and creed, the discipline and commitment which today is extraordinary when surrounded by sycophants and divisionists. Alexander Vindman is intelligent and a brave soldier who defended his country with honour and compassion in defence of our constitution, rights & privileges. Alexander Vindman stepped up when he was needed and for those who perform, under enormous pressure and personal sacrifice, and do what is right despite the consequences? They should be our societies role models and be rewarded as heroes. You are taken through an extraordinary life and career with all his mistakes and success and doubts as well as lessons. You see the maturity over years and the development of strategy he commanded. Most interesting to me was the explanation of how strategic decisions are made and how the system of military and government work. Much more interesting and enjoyable than expected. Thank you for your service RET lieutenant colonel Vindman.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Riveting Account of a Dark Part of American History All Americans should read this book. Easy to understand and follow the story. Would read it again! Thank you Alexander Vindman for your sacrifice.

  26. 5 out of 5

    George Briggs

    An American Patriot Sadly when some value loyalty over a sacred oath to the Constitution, the story of Col. Alexander Vindman is a profile in courage . Risking promotion, his Army career, and retalidation from a twice- impeached president, Col. Vindman chose to report what he heard on that infamous July 25 phone call.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbaraleah

    I am not sure what I expected from this book. Quite frankly, I bought it to support Lt. Col. Vindman because he spoke up when speaking up was hard, dangerous even. What I didn't expect was that it would be so interesting. I read it in a day and found it thought-provoking and inspiring, even. I am not sure what I expected from this book. Quite frankly, I bought it to support Lt. Col. Vindman because he spoke up when speaking up was hard, dangerous even. What I didn't expect was that it would be so interesting. I read it in a day and found it thought-provoking and inspiring, even.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Reed

    An example for me. Inspirational read. Worth my time. Well written. Courage profiled. A book that incourages me to standup and be counted. Needed now at this time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Connie Sandlin

    A Patriot's True Story I bought this book to support the unfairly treated author, but it's so much more, now that I have read it. Lt. Col. Vindman has important lessons for Americans in his example of staunchly adhering to truth, duty, and honor in the face of personal attacks and professional undermining. Don't self-deter. Keep starting over. Be aware of the presence of abnormal and the absence of normal. A Patriot's True Story I bought this book to support the unfairly treated author, but it's so much more, now that I have read it. Lt. Col. Vindman has important lessons for Americans in his example of staunchly adhering to truth, duty, and honor in the face of personal attacks and professional undermining. Don't self-deter. Keep starting over. Be aware of the presence of abnormal and the absence of normal.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you for your service Lt. Co. Vindman. Mr. Vindman wrote a memoir to the American people. He has throughout his life through his father's lessons and his military training, and military service learned through experience morality, and character is the number one trait to have. He did not write his memoir for notoriety, or limelight. But for the American people to understand our constitution, and democracy was in danger by one man, our President. He knew he had to speak up no matter what the Thank you for your service Lt. Co. Vindman. Mr. Vindman wrote a memoir to the American people. He has throughout his life through his father's lessons and his military training, and military service learned through experience morality, and character is the number one trait to have. He did not write his memoir for notoriety, or limelight. But for the American people to understand our constitution, and democracy was in danger by one man, our President. He knew he had to speak up no matter what the consequences is. He's name was dragged through the mud by the Republican party, and social media. Eventually as a career soldier he's time serving the military was over. He writes about his father, and his family living in Ukraine as a Jew. . Why his father made a decision to leave to come to America. How he's father started from scratch and started their life over again in Brooklyn, NY. He had many struggles growing up. He didn't like academics, rather liked the hands on, physical, such as sports. He attended college and didn't do well. He realized the military might be a good fit. Where serving his country and civic duty was where he liked to be. He credits serving on the front growing his moral compass. He was stationed in Korea, and Iraq where he was wounded. He then took his combat years to further his career to academics. Which took him up into his expertise in Russia/Ukraine affairs. Which eventually led him to the Pentagon, and then the NSC- Joint Chief of Staff in the White House. In his career he still held firm his ideals, character, and morals to always do the right thing, Right is Right. Here Right Matters. You can tell he is a military 🪖 man by his writing. He put very little emotion in his writing. "Just the facts"-You could tell he wrote his memoir like he was writing a report for work. I'm not complaining. As he didn't want to be the object of the story. As each of us will have our own history of 2016- 2019. We will each tell our story. A very brave person to step up to power, and not think of the consequences. His job, military, family, was in jeopardy. I don't know many people who would have been so brave. Many people would have struggled with this for weeks. As Americans every American should read Mr. Vindman's 📖.

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