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Invitation to a Book Launch

The OSA Archivum at Central European University and Bestsellers Bookstore in Budapest cordiallty invite you to the presentation of

VERA AND THE AMBASSADOR: ESCAPE AND RETURN
by Vera and Donald Blinken

Ambassador Andras Simonyi, former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, will introduce the book.

Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: OSA Archívum at CEU, Arany János utca 32. Budapest 1051

Hungary in all its cultural glory and historical anguish lies at the heart of this dramatic and deeply personal story. Vera, born in Budapest, describes how she and her mother managed to survive the atrocities of World War II, and in 1950, narrowly escaped Soviet occupied Hungary for the freedom and opportunity of America. She vowed to find a way to give back as a show of gratitude for her good fortune. That opportunity came in 1994 when her husband Donald Blinken, an investment banker, was appointed Ambassador to Hungary by President Clinton. Their dual memoir openly details the challenges, setbacks, and victories as they worked to tandem to advance America's interests in Central Europe and to help restore a former Soviet satellite from a command economy and totalitarian government into marked economy, and a republic based on democratic ideals.

“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” - Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

About the Authors
Vera Blinken was born in Budapest and came to the United States in 1950. She graduated form 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, in a native New Yorker. He graduated magna cum laude in economics at Harvard University and co-founded the investment banking/venture capital firm of E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. He is currently co-Chair of Columbia University's European Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an Emeritus Trustee of Central European University.

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