Obama’s Idealists

American Power in Theory and Practice

Evan Vucci / AP

The events that Susan Rice and Samantha Power describe in their new memoirs of their time in the Obama administration occurred only a few years ago. But they belong to a different age. “That chart shook up the Principals Committee like nothing I have seen before or since,” Rice writes in Tough Love. The chart estimated the number of people the Ebola virus might kill in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Rice, then national security adviser, goes on to describe how she helped convince the Pentagon to send almost 3,000 U.S. troops to West Africa to fight the plague. To convince …