The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most extraordinary success stories of our time. A scrawny boy from an Austrian village, he went on to become the greatest bodybuilding champion in history, the biggest movie star in the world, the Republican husband of a Kennedy princess and the popular governor of California. He may even become the ...
The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most extraordinary success stories of our time. A scrawny boy from an Austrian village, he went on to become the greatest bodybuilding champion in history, the biggest movie star in the world, the Republican husband of a Kennedy princess and the popular governor of California. He may even become the president of the United States one day. In this major new biography, acclaimed author Laurence Leamer tells the inside story of Arnold's remarkable rise to fame and power. Leamer has had exclusive interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his closest associates, including his wife, Maria Shriver, Austrian schoolfriends, his mentors, bodybuilding competitors, lifelong friends, girlfriends, political rivals, agents, publicists and producers, many of whom have never been interviewed before. Fantastic paints the definitive portrait of the real Arnold - a man of immense discipline, wilful ambition and limitless drive. Leamer takes us from the untold story of his traumatic relationship with his father, to how his first mentor, a Jewish partisan in the Second World War helped shape him; from the movie star who tried to ruin his career to why Arnold overcame the sordid sexual revelations that marred his campaign for governor of California and the game plan that may bring him to the White House. Insightful, highly entertaining, this book captures the public and private Schwarzenegger, a cultural and political figure unlike any other.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-05-23 America's love affair with machine brutalism spills over into this somewhat smitten biography of its foremost icon. Leamer (The Kennedy Women) chronicles Schwarzenegger's progress from bodybuilder to action-movie megastar, then California governor, visiting along the way his romance with Kennedy scion Maria Shriver and feud with rival Hollywood muscle-head Sylvester Stallone. It's a tale of relentless self-promotion: Schwarzenegger's fanatical weight-lifting routines are nothing compared with his grueling publicity marathons, including 94 puff-piece interviews in one day for Last Action Hero. Leamer gives his subject a bombastically vain personality, then struggles to make it appealing. He celebrates Schwarzenegger's room-filling ebullience, his "emotional wisdom" and "agape." He discerns a "subtle, ironic distance" in Schwarzenegger's acting. And Leamer downplays Schwarzenegger's alleged habit of groping women, chalking it up to "signals" sent by women who secretly welcome his advances, a casual European attitude toward sex that is "frustrated and puzzled" by American "political correctness" and a fun-loving spirit that "moves toward whatever is most joyful and gives him pleasure." The author is less indulgent toward what he sees as Schwarzenegger's substance-free political campaigning and unwillingness to grapple with California's long-term budget crisis. His book is not fantastic, but it's well researched and moves along at a pleasantly robotic clip. Agent, Joy Harris. (June 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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