Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government--A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

Shut Up, I'm Talking is a smart, hilarious insider take on Israeli politics that reads like the bastard child of Thomas Friedman and David Sedaris. Now a political writer for Salon, Gregory Levey stumbled into a job as speechwriter for the Israeli delegation to the United Nations at age twenty-five and suddenly found himself, like a latter-day Zelig, in the company of foreign ministers, U.S. senators, and heads of state. Much to his surprise, he was soon attending U.N. sessions and drafting official government ...
See more details below
Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government--A Memoir

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.93
BN.com price

Overview

Shut Up, I'm Talking is a smart, hilarious insider take on Israeli politics that reads like the bastard child of Thomas Friedman and David Sedaris. Now a political writer for Salon, Gregory Levey stumbled into a job as speechwriter for the Israeli delegation to the United Nations at age twenty-five and suddenly found himself, like a latter-day Zelig, in the company of foreign ministers, U.S. senators, and heads of state. Much to his surprise, he was soon attending U.N. sessions and drafting official government statements. The situation got stranger still when he was transferred to Jerusalem to write speeches for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Shut Up, I'm Talking is a startling account of Levey's journey into the nerve center of Middle Eastern politics at one of the most turbulent times in Israeli history. During his three years in the Israeli government, the Second Intifada continued on in fits and starts, Yasser Arafat died, Hamas came to power, and Ariel Sharon fell into a coma. Levey was repeatedly thrust into highly improbable situations -- from being the sole "Israeli" delegate (even though he's Canadian) at the U.N. General Assembly, with no idea how "his" country wanted to vote; to nearly inciting an international incident with his high school French translation of an Arab diplomat's anti-Israel remarks; to communicating with Israeli intelligence about the suspected perpetrators of suicide bombings; to being offered leftover salami from Ariel Sharon's lunch. As Levey got better acquainted with the personalities in the government's inner sanctum, he witnessed firsthand the improvisational and ridiculously casual nature of the country's behind-the-scenes leadership -- and realized that he wasn't the only one faking his way through politics.

With sharp insight and great appreciation for the absurd, Levey offers the first-ever look inside Israel's politics from the perspective of a complete outsider, ultimately concluding that the Israeli government is no place for a nice Jewish boy.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A funny, sometimes horrifying look at the inner workings of international government agencies.... [Levey] makes speechwriting seem cooler than even Aaron Sorkin imagined.... Read it for the hilarity and the keen portraiture, but try to pretend these people don't actually make decisions about the fate of the world." — Kirkus Reviews

"This brilliant and blindingly funny book is like a nonfictional season of The West Wing set in the Knesset. If you ever wanted an insider tale about why the Middle East is such a complicated, heartrending, and yet unbelievably compelling saga then look no further. Gregory Levey has captured the soul of this conflict with charm, grace, and diplomatic wit." — Matthew Polly, author of American Shaolin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416593799
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 311 KB

Meet the Author

Gregory Levey is the author of Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government and has written for Newsweek, The New Republic, New York Post, Salon, and other publications. He served as a speechwriter and delegate for the Israeli government at the United Nations and as Senior Foreign Communications Coordinator for prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, and is now on the faculty of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Foreword

I was twenty-five years old and not even an Israeli citizen, but as a result of a bizarre series of events, I was sitting alone at the State of Israel's seat at the United Nations General Assembly, minutes before a vote on a U.N. resolution.

Worse still: I had no idea how Israel wanted to vote, and very little concept of what the vote was even about.

How on earth had I ended up in this situation?

I looked at the Irish representative on my left and the Italian one on my right. Each of them was much older than me and had several assistants sitting with him. More importantly, they both clearly knew how their governments wanted them to vote. At very least, unlike me, they were citizens of the countries that they were representing.

For something like the tenth time, I called the office of the Israeli ambassador on my cell phone and asked to speak to someone who could give me instructions, but the terrible phone reception at the United Nations meant that I got cut off before I could get any help. Again. I looked across the room at the diplomat representing the United States and thought that maybe I should just vote however he did, since Israel often followed the lead of its closest ally.

Then I looked at the door leading out of the large hall, and thought that maybe a wiser option would be to run and not look back. I thought of that famous story from the middle of the Cold War when Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and angrily banged it on the table at the United Nations. I considered doing the same, for no reason other than delaying the vote.

I could see that the voting was about to begin, and I quickly tried my cell phone again. This time, miraculously, I got through to someone with authority at the Israeli Mission.

"They're going to vote," I whispered urgently, trying to keep my voice down so that the Irish and Italian representatives wouldn't recognize the fact that I was an idiot.

"Who is this?" the voice on the other end of the phone said.

At this point, I came perilously close to throwing my cell phone across the room. Or maybe, I thought, I should slam my phone down on the table instead of my shoe.

"It's Greg," I answered. "I'm at the General Assembly, and there's going to be a vote."

"A vote? A vote on what?"

"On resolution number" -- and I told him the specific resolution at hand.

"What is that?" he asked.

"I don't really know," I answered. "I was hoping that maybe someone there had some idea of what it was, and could tell me how I should vote."

"I'll look into it, and call you back," he said, and immediately hung up.

The chairman presiding over the meeting called it to order, and began the prevoting procedure. I waited anxiously for the cell phone gripped tightly in my right hand to ring, the fingers of my left hand hovering uncertainly over the voting buttons before me.

Copyright © 2008 by Gregory Levey

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Contents

Author's Note
Foreword

1 There Must Be Something Wrong with You

2 The Only One Who Turns Me On

3 Damn! There's a Fish in My Pants!

4 Hamas, the PLO, and My Love Life

5 No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

6 Note to Self: Don't Knock Over U.S. Senators

7 My Name Is Joey Shmeltz

8 The Foreign Minister Has No Clothes

9 Weekend at Arafat's

10 Ariel Sharon Was a Hard Man to Turn Down

11 Is Plein Even a Word?

12 Dancing Queen

13 And Still Nothing

14 A Prime Minister's Office Without a Prime Minister

15 Pretty Woman and the Prime Minister of Israel

16 One Last Job

Acknowledgments
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

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 all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Violet

    Sorry, no. Anyway, I gtg for lunch.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Shut up im talking

    It was awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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