Memoirs of a Failed Diplomat
Migrant by necessity, cosmopolitan by choice, Dan Vittorio Segre has truly had an extraordinary life. Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew told the story of his childhood and adolescence: from his secular, bourgeois Jewish upbringing to his enforced emigration to Palestine, and his sudden awakening to the Zionist movement and his own religious convictions. Primo Levi called it "taut and illuminating... memorable... written with the humility of he who confesses himself and with the honesty of he who bore witness".The present volume continues the tale, tracing the development of Segre's unique personality, which attracts him to ever-more eccentric and paradoxical situations. From soldier to diplomat to soldier again, via Palestine, Paris, Ethiopia, and Madagascar, Segre chronicles his encounters with other remarkable characters - a chain-smoking Golda Meir; the African leaders Tom Mboya and Julius Nyerere; Soviet diplomats and KGB agents. Suspected of being a spy, Segre is dismissed from the Foreign Ministry, official recognition of his innocence only coming a decade later. By this time, however, Segre had fully embarked on new careers as a journalist and academic. Segre's candour, irony, intelligence, and belief are irresistible companions throughout this adventure.
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The Luck of Names
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