Read this woman's books. Now. I mean it.
History's not only about the famous and successful people.

Surprisingly interesting.

Even though I wasn't expecting to, and even though I hate its blah cover, I found myself really interested by Gregory Levey's memoir Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I learned in the Israeli Government. Levey, bored by law school and looking around for something new to do, applied to be an intern at the Israeli Mission to the United Nations. Eventually they contacted him and told him they didn't hire interns, but they might have a speechwriting job for him. Wham, bam, and some scarily comprehensive security checks later, Levey was employed as a speechwriter, working with the Israeli ambassador and other political and United Nations dignitaries.

Levey There's a couple of funny things about that: 1. Levey was all of 25 at the time; 2. He had no experience in speechwriting, and 3. Although Jewish, Levey is not an Israeli citizen--he's Canadian.

On the bright side, this is a fascinating story, told in an appealing way. Levey would eventually end up moving to Israel for a time to work as a speechwriter for Ariel Sharon, so you learn a lot about the UN, politics, and the Middle East. On the down side, any illusions that you have about decisions being made and statements being drafted by the UN or any governing bodies being made by well-informed people with tons of time and resources on their hands will be shattered. It's amazing what all goes on in this world, and who's out there doing what. (In one memorable chapter, Levey even found himself at a UN meeting when he was supposed to vote on a resolution--which was awkward since he had no idea what the resolution was about! The solution? He found out how the US was voting, and voted the same--although theirs were the only two dissenting votes.) Fascinating if alarming stuff.