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I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom up Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2000

4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

"Career politicians are bought and sold," says Jesse Ventura, but "no one owns me. I come with no strings attached." His victory in the Minnesota gubernatorial race was one of the most surprising stories of the 1998 elections; even after he'd served as mayor of his small Minneapolis suburb, few pundits expected that the former pro wrestler, film actor, and radio personality had what it took to win a statewide campaign against two established politicians.

I Ain't Got Time to Bleed takes its title from the best remembered line in Ventura's film debut, the action/horror flick Predator. It's a phrase that neatly encapsulates his rough and tumble approach to political activism. In addition to a look behind the scenes at his campaign, and his stand on the issues affecting his state (particularly tax reform and public education), Ventura also shares with readers his experiences as a member of the U.S. Navy's SEAL program and as a pro wrestler. It's a lively read that's sure to satisfy his established fans and surprise skeptics with its thoughtful approach to politics and civic responsibility. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura describes his politics and his life with a simplicity that his supporters will cheer as fist-shaking bolts of truth and that his detractors will pan as loud, flippant and glib. The text first outlines Ventura's political platform ("less government is more" just about sums it up), then tracks his life through roles as blue-collar bad boy, Navy Seal, pro wrestler, wrestling commentator, film star, mayor, talk-radio host and, finally, campaigner and governor. Ventura likes to play the angry man in the bar complaining about the bums in office. Like most Reform Party candidates, he doesn't believe government can do much anyway. Eighty percent of the book is autobiography, a series of American success stories about the man who doesn't believe in the word can't. His ego appears to play such a large role in his persona that even his claim that he doesn't want to be called upon to be president exudes a scent of sham modesty. Ventura fan or not, any reader can appreciate the story of this man's desire to unseat "the old boy network" and engage the people. But the chapters on his entertainment years, and Ventura's incessant name-dropping, ultimately undermine his premiseAthat he isn't a politician, just a private-sector Joe. At times, Ventura is so entertaining that readers might forget, temporarily, that he's a celebrity politician employing the advantage of his fame. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Updated edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451200861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451200860
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Governor Jesse Ventura served as the 38th governor of Minnesota from January 4, 1999, to January 6, 2003, but he is more than a politician. In fact, he doesn't like being referred to as a politician at all. Before entering the world of politics, he served his country as part of a U.S. Navy UDT team (the forerunner of the SEALs), won fame as a professional wrestler, worked as a bodyguard for big-name rock and roll acts like the Rolling Stones, and had roles in major motion pictures, including "The Running Man" and "Predator."

Governor Ventura first entered the public eye in the mid-1970s as a profession wrestler, gaining fame for his physique and wrestling as Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He wrestled until 1984, when blood clots in his lungs ended his in-ring career. After a failed comeback bid, he worked as a color commentator on television for "All-Star Wrestling" and later "Superstars of Wrestling," hosted his own talk segment on the WWF's "Superstars of Wrestling" called "The Body Shop," and did color commentary on radio for a few National Football League teams (among them, the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Ventura most notably co-hosted "Saturday Night's Main Event" with Vince McMahon and the first six WrestleManias (1985-1990).

Ventura's acting career was a natural extension of his television work. He appeared in "Predator" (which starred future California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger). He had a starring role in the 1990 sci-fi movie "Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe," and had supporting roles in "The Running Man," "Demolition Man," "Repossessed," "Ricochet," "The Master of Disguise" (in which he steals the Liberty Bell), and "Batman & Robin." Ventura also made a cameo appearance in "Major League II" as "White Lightning" and appeared as a self-help guru (voice only) in "The Ringer" trying to turn Johnny Knoxville into a more confident worker. In addition, Ventura had a cameo in "The X-Files episode" "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" as a Man in Black alongside fellow 'MiB' Alex Trebek.

Ventura ran for governor of Minnesota as the nominee for the Reform Party of Minnesota. His campaign consisted of a combination of aggressive grassroots events and original television spots using the phrase "Don't vote for politics as usual." He spent considerably less than his opponents (about $300,000) and was a pioneer in his using the Internet as a medium of reaching out to voters in a political campaign. He won the election narrowly--and unexpectedly--defeating the major-party candidates, Norm Coleman (Republican) and Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III (Democratic-Farmer-Labor).

Deciding not to seek a second term in office, Ventura left the political arena, but continued to speak out about the issues he cares most about. He taught a study group at Harvard University as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics in which he focused on third party politics, campaign finance, the war on drugs, and other relevant political issues. He has written two books since leaving office, both with Dick Russell, "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!" and "American Conspiracies." He also writes and hosts the television series "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura," which airs on TruTV.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I am a fan of Jesse, and support his governorship of Minnesota, I'm not clouding my review with my agreement with what he says.
This is a book by a politician (albeit not a professional one) espousing his views on many facets of political (and therefore social) life. Jesse is very articulate in what he believes, and says it well here. He is consistent and clear - thus gaining him 5 stars for this book. You will definitely know what he thinks, and what he is doing politically, after reading this book.
I also appreciate his willingness to replay his life - what brought him to where he is, and especially I appreciate his candor and his honesty about even the not-so-glamorous things he has done. He makes no apologies for what he has done or for what he believes, which is a very welcome way for a politician to write. His book would benefit from more exposition, but he covers an awful lot of ground here, and as he often says, he just doesn't have the space to go into great detail about everything. Hopefully he will continue to write, and will concentrate on more specific items in those writings. But of course, one can also watch his governorship to learn more about the specifics, too.
It is unfortunate that he gets the bad press he does - he is one of few honest politicians out there. Whether you agree with him or not, at least he tells us what he thinks and believes about the many important things he is doing as governor.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book. You get to learn about the Amewrican way of life through a true all-American guy. I have never met or read anything by one so patriotic, whgo stioll believes in what he stands for. I followed Jesse from his early daus in the WWF and later WCW. He then completely disappeared until I found out he was elected governor of Minnesota. I had to find out how that happened. I checked him out in the WWF 1999 Summerslam and on the Leno show. He has certainly changed, but you can still feel the colorful, strong headed man he always was and will always be. His book is inspiring for all Americans and those who aren't to reach out for their dreams and that whatever you do, there is always a thin line that leads from one part of your likfe to another. I don't agree with Jesse in all his veiwpoints, but I'm not his twin or brother to agree on everything he says. The book is funny, lighthearted, and was surely the fastest read in my history of reading. This book says it all.
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Format: Hardcover
Jesse Ventura has done what most Americans have not. He has lived his life demonstrating who he is. He is 100 percent himself. There are no lies and no regrets. Total honesty with himself and others. What a freedom that is! This book is very inspiring to read. It has helped me to be more honest with myself. Thank you Jesse!
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By A Customer on September 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have become disenchanted with the propoganda of the "Big 2" parties and have decided to be independent. It was refreshing to know that there are many others like me, including Minnesota's most controversial and colorful political head, Governor Jesse Ventura.
"I Ain't Got Time to Bleed" shows great insight into Ventura's psyche through his life story which all leads up to his highest and most prestigious position ever. The words may be raw, but they are real. He gets on the "common level" and transcends typical politics through gut wrenching honesty founded on solid principles. Whether you agree with his philosphy and political ideology or not, his story is certainly entertaining, fairly common, yet highly captivating.
I highly recommend his book and I've just obtained his latest book, "Do I Stand Alone?" and cannot wait to finish it!
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By A Customer on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Jesse Ventura is portrayed like a joke by the media. Everybody is willing to cut down what he says and blow things out of proportion. I was a critic at first also, however, his book did an excellent job discussing the issues he wants to tackle as governor and I agree with most of his ideas. One must read this book to gain full appreciation of probably the only politician who is not afraid to speak his mind.
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Format: Hardcover
Go Jesse! The life and times of America's toughest and most honest politicians. (Hell, quite possibly in the entire world!). Jesse Ventura lays it all down, the days of youthful excess and fast times; his experiences as a Navy SEAL; his time spent as a professional (and one of the most memorable) wrestler (or wrastler as some people keep saying); and finally he takes us to Minnesota where he challenges, defeats and ultimately disbands the Good Old Boy syndicate living high on the hog off the peoples' ignorance and indifference. Told through tape recorder? That's great! I'll look for an audiobook version too! Jesse leaps off each page as himself and not some puff-piece written to further his political career or win over borderline voters. Jesse speaks and he speaks in his own voice and from his heart without holding anything back. As a fan of Jesse's policies and his fresh attitude and outlook to politics, this book only strengthens my admirations for him by showing and proving that he is everything he says he is and isn;t full of a single drop of the loads of B.S. that spoil the once clean air surrounding our governmental offices, both federal and state.
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