• The Fight of Our Lives

  • My Time with Zelenskyy, Ukraine's Battle for Democracy, and What It Means for the World
  • By: Iuliia Mendel
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Jill Araya, Iuliia Mendel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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The Fight of Our Lives

By: Iuliia Mendel
Narrated by: Jennifer Jill Araya,Iuliia Mendel
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Publisher's Summary

When Ukrainian journalist Iuliia Mendel got the call she had been hired to work for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, she had no idea what was to come.

In this frank and moving inside account, Zelenskyy’s former press secretary tells the story of his improbable rise from popular comedian to the president of Ukraine. Mendel had a front row seat to many of the key events preceding the 2022 Russian invasion. From attending meetings between Zelenskyy and Putin and other European leaders, visiting the front lines in Donbas, to fielding press inquiries after the infamous phone calls between Donald Trump and Zelenskyy that led to Trump’s first impeachment.

Mendel saw firsthand Zelenskyy’s efforts to transform his country from a poor, backward Soviet state into a vibrant, prosperous European democracy. Mendel sheds light on the massive economic problems facing Ukraine and the entrenched corrupt oligarchs in league with Russia. She witnessed the Kremlin’s repeated attacks to discredit Zelenskyy through disinformation and an army of bots and trolls.

Woven into her account are details about her own life as a member of Zelenskyy’s new Ukraine. Written with the sound of Russian bombs and exploding shells in the background, Mendel details life lived under Russian siege in 2022. She says goodbye to her fiancé who joins the front lines, like so many other Ukrainian men. Throughout this story of Zelenskyy, Ukraine, and its extraordinary people, Iuliia Mendel reminds us of the paramount importance of truth and human values, especially in these darkest of times.

©2021 Iuliia Mendel. English language copyright ©2022 Iuliia Mendel. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Just Great!

Luliia Mendel's book "The Fight of Our Lives: My Time with Zelenskyy..." is a clear eyed look at the rise of not only President Zalenskyy but the emerging proud identity of the Ukrainian people. It shines a light of the inner dialogue of Ukraine as the country emerges from the dark paralysis of the former Soviet Union. The author brilliantly walks the reader through the country's recent history and its battle with Russian oligarchs and propaganda. It not only reveals the struggles and victories of the country and its president but also of a young girl growing up in a now independent Ukraine as she grows into a skilled journalist, spokesperson and advisor for her country and her president. This book is more than a recounting of the history of a country and its recent war, but a heart felt view from the inside out by one who has lived through it all and has helped form the new and proud narrative of Ukraine

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great listen

very detailed story. of last 33 years in Ukraine. quick and easy to learn. try it.

1 person found this helpful

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A boomer's take

Always looking for ways to directly support Ukrainians rather than trust too much agencies like the IRC, or Paypal payments to unknown email addresses, I bought the audible version without caring about whether the book would be any good or not. I will confess after a few days, as I waited for its release, I began to get concerned that maybe, like in all wars, that the authors was being opportunistic. But, I have just finished listening to the audible book and I am grateful for the following reasons.

First, technically, there are no translation or production issues. I heard everything and could follow the flow of the discussion perfectly.

Second, I am grateful, because since the invasion of Ukraine I have learnt much more about the circumstances and had questions about for example a) why was Zelensky popularity beginning to fade just before the invasion and b) what is the deal with Porrishenko. I recommend the book if only to learn about item "b", if one so cares. I think the book explains what Zenlensky had to deal with after he was elected and while the author probably could be said to be understandly biased she explained fairly well the context of the situation ...not wanting to give away too much because I think if a person cares then they owe it to themselves to read the book.

Another take away for me was understanding Oligarchs as a sociological phenomenon. We "westerners" have been conditioned to see them as individuals, but in reality they take many forms, principally in the west as the guise of corporations. How many corporations use their wealth to monopolized their markets and rates in the west.

The author is tech savvy, but I disagree with her assertion that being such is a function of a person age, except in a very general sense that Millenials are more embracing of social media and understand its potential and shortcomings (i.e. the weaponization of said). I doubt many Millennials understand that "the cloud" is in a way is like the movie "Back to the Future" where keyboards and monitors were essentially dumb terminals.

I am from a small country and now live in the country that overshadowed my country in every way. We also dealt with language issues but not like what was described in the book. Nevertheless, I am grateful the author went over the nature of language issue between ruzzia and Ukraine.

In summary, the book will give a person, a rounder understanding of many of the issues that Ukraines have always faced and are facing.

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Both fascinating and moving


It is both fascinating and moving to listen to the story of the author about the country that she loves. A must read!

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Great story in an okay book.

I sympathize with Ukraine's cause and I am sure Iuliia's next books will be better. This was an okay start.

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  • Sunny Boshoff
  • 09-27-22

Brilliant

Really informative thank you i highly recommended it to anyone interested in the Ukraine

1 person found this helpful