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When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man [Kindle Edition]

Jerry Weintraub , Rich Cohen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"

In WHEN I STOP TALKING, YOU'LL KNOW I'M DEAD, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever.

And of course, the story is not yet over . . .as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come."

As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."

With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists . . . everyone.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hollywood power player Weintraub, now 72, is always in control and goes to great lengths to prove it: besides having managed musical legends like Presley, Sinatra and John Denver ("I cooked him from scratch"), Weintraub once closed a deal by faking a heart attack, and won the respect of one of Chicago's most powerful men, Arthur Wirtz, when he cursed Wirtz out for making him wait (Wirtz would go on to become one of Weintraub's mentors). Weintraub's also produced plays, TV shows, movies (from Nashville to the Ocean's 11 franchise), and more, summing up his talent simply: "When I believe in something, it's going to get done." Edgy and honest but refreshingly spare in his criticism of stars, colleagues and family, Weintraub can be forgiven for glossing over speed bumps in his career (one failed business lost $30 million before it closed in the mid-'80s) and occasionally showing his age with wandering rumination. As Weintraub repeatedly states, he is not a star, which perhaps that explains the disappointing omission of photos. Still, with a bold voice, a storied career, and a cast of superstars, his memoir makes a rousing insider tour of some five decades in the entertainment industry.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Now, I could tell you stories about Jerry, but Jerry is the first and best to tell them. He's funny and grumpy and perfectly inappropriate. When it comes to work, nobody works harder. When it comes to charities, nobody guilts better. And when it comes to friendship, he has no peers. That's Jerry's great talent. He doesn't just light up a room, he lights it on fire. He's a great producer, a great organizer, a great friend, and truly the greatest showman on earth."—George Clooney

"He's somebody from another age."—Elliott Gould

Product Details

  • File Size: 8624 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00740G9F4
  • Publisher: Twelve; 1 edition (April 7, 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00351DSRI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Life, Great Book April 10, 2010
Rich Cohen--I've been reading him for ten years--is one of the country's best writers. Jerry Weintraub--film producer, musician manager, deal maker--is one of the nation's best livers. (Mention an event, a celebrity, the man has a story.) Cohen can write anything; Weintraub has done nearly everything. Which is what makes this book such a perfect match. Weintraub is the real deal--came up without money or the helping hands than can do the work of money; produced the three "Ocean's Eleven" pictures, also "Nashville" and "Diner" (two decades' great classics), also managed Elvis, also Sinatra, also the chess-champion Bobby Fischer at Reykjavik. It's an amazing story. Weintraub goes everywhere and does everything; he heads someplace, arrives, finds himself at the center. A gift, which he discovers in himself and develops. He found a way to take Elvis on the road at 26, to bring Sinatra's career back at 35; when he's watching the Fischer chess championship on TV, he just buys a ticket, flies to Iceland, and more or less enters the screen himself. (That's one lesson Weintraub teaches from his kind of life. Find what you love, trust it. Then act.) The story is filled with advice, plus advice-by-example: hustling in the beginning, finding the angle, picking your allies--"If you work with people you love, which, of course, is not always possible, the hard times become an epic adventure"--then getting to a place where your own work functions as an ad, as the attraction: "I did not have to hustle quite as much. Once you've established yourself, you can, to some extent, let business find you. You become a beacon, a door into a better life. Read more ›
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53 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical Hollywood Self-Promotion May 17, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Based upon Harvey Levin's description of this as a "Great Book" on TMZ, I bought a copy. Unfortunately, it is not, for the following reasons:

1. The book was ghost-written by Rich Cohn and lacks the immediacy and integrity it would have had if Mr. Weintraub had written it himself;

2. There is an endless parade of all the important people Mr. Weintraub has run into during his life;

3. Mr. Weintraub uncritically fawns all over said important people; and

4. Mr. Weintraub tells us about all of his successes, but none of his failures.

In other words, the reader comes away with the impression that the book is dishonest.

For example, Mr. Weintraub spends a good deal of time eulogizing Elvis Presley's manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker, a bilious bag of gas who took far more than the traditional 10% of Elvis's earnings (reaching 50% by the end of Presley's life). After Elvis's death in 1997, Parker became embroiled in legal claims with Elvis's estate for overreaching, eventually agreeing to sell masters of some of Elvis's major recordings for $2 million and to drop any claims he might have against the estate. It was also later discovered that he was not a U.S. citizen (he was born in the Netherlands) a fact that many believe caused him not to seek concert opportunities for Presley abroad. Even his assumed title of "Colonel" was phony; he was, at best, a "Kentucky Colonel." But Mr. Weintraub discusses none of this in his extensive descriptions of his relationship with Mr. Parker.

There is no question that Mr. Weintraub has the experience to write a great book about the entertainment industry. This is not it.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jerry Weintraub was born in 1937 in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx. He was what he and I term a street-wise Jewish New Yorker who wound up as one of Hollywood's true elite impresarios'. Jerry was blessed with two wonderful loving parents... but along with playing stickball and stoopball (which of course... as any New York kid would know included a Spalding!)... Jerry knew he didn't want to go to college... and even though his Dad taught him about the jewelry business he knew he didn't want to become part of his Dad's business. He didn't really know what he wanted but he knew it wasn't that. When he was fourteen-years-old he and a friend ran away from home and with very little money started hitch hiking to Florida. They made it as far as Myrtle Beach before giving up. When he was seventeen-years-old and before he graduated high school he had his parents sign a consent form and he joined the Air Force. He started his training at Keesler Air Force Base (Note: The author mistakenly calls it Kessler Air Force Base. I should know the correct name since I was stationed there approximately sixteen-years after Jerry.) in Biloxi, Mississippi. Jerry discusses the anti-Semitism he encountered there... including circumstances that resulted in him having breakfast with a Klansman. (Note to Jerry: Sixteen years later I ran into the same anti-Semitism and though I didn't have breakfast with a Klansman... I did witness crosses being burned on the lawn of the base... and also was subjected to anti-Semitism by NCOs' very similar to yours.) The author's first person narrative is enticing and near hypnotic as it becomes obvious Jerry has unmatched drive... and a truckload of *CHUTZPAH*... and never hesitated in taking advantage of every opportunity... whether it was offered... Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by Nora A. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars This guy is bold...What an amazing life
Great book...This guy is pretty darn interesting. The book made me laugh and it made me cry. That doesn't happen often. I listened to the audible version in one day.
Published 1 month ago by Jerome
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good
Published 1 month ago by robert faithe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book! Great life lessons to go after your dreams.
Published 1 month ago by David Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to conquer the world
This man lived an unbelievable life. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. This book makes you want to go for it, everything you want to do.
Published 1 month ago by Arielle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. Could not put it down
Great. Could not put it down. Brilliant man.
Published 2 months ago by Liana Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very entertaining
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Lipow
5.0 out of 5 stars Man I love this guy he is not only hilarious but he ...
Man I love this guy he is not only hilarious but he get stuff done! a very inspiring book about someone who is proud of where they come from and doesn't take for granted where they... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian James
5.0 out of 5 stars Lesson From The Old School For The New School

I enjoyed the book and heard some useful information,
Published 2 months ago by anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars His way.
Amazing anecdotes, though he comes off as smug a lot of times.
Published 2 months ago by Alfredo Hurtado
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Kindle price
Why is the kindle version more expensive than the paperback!?!?!?
Mar 31, 2011 by Jennifer A. Young |  See all 2 posts
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