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Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak Paperback – August 30, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (August 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1425952224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1425952228
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,803,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Barbara Outland Baker is an English Professor at Moorpark College in Southern California, as well as a freelance writer and author. She earned her B.A. in English from San Diego State University and her Secondary Credential and M.A. from California State University, Los Angeles. Barbara has written a speed reading textbook, Reading! The Success Formula, as well as co-authored Master Readingin collaboration with UCLA and R.E.A.D. She has written numerouspublished articles, covering subjects, such as tole painting, guidedimagery, and Jack LaLanne's healthful philosophy. With her 2003manuscript having captured the media's attention, Barbara enjoyedexposure through talk radio, print interviews, live television, andbiography shows, such as Inside Edition and E-True Hollywood. During her stint at San Diego State,this college coed met a man who invited her into his realm. At twenty-one, Barbara accepted his invitation to enter into the world ofbodybuilding to become the woman by Arnold Schwarzenegger's side. During his bodybuilding ascent and Hollywoodentrée, she knew this icon like no person could. The author spent sixyears dating and living with Mr. Olympia and another six writing hertale. She has produced an original, intimate, provocative true story. Although few compare to Arnold in evoking readers' interest, Barbara also has become an engaging character, one worth getting to know. Retiringfrom education in 2007, Barbara is enjoying the transition fromteaching writing to producing writing. She now resides in two states,as professor in Southern California and as looming retiree in Northern Dallas. She and her husband John now officially reside in McKinney, Texas, having exchanged the Golden Poppy for the Yellow Rose. They are joined by a California exodus of family members who have chosen to make the Lone Star State their next round in life's extraordinary journey.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It was very well written.
Tommy Lee Thomas
This memoir comes across as a warm, heartfelt, honest story of her journey through life and out of Arnold's shadow.
Susan Kurtik
"Arnold and Me" would be fabulous for a book club.
Mark R. Howe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Whitney S. Christiansen on September 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In her memoir, Barbara Outland Baker remembers her days as Arnold Schwarzenegger's first American girlfriend in the turbulent late 60s and early 70s. They dated for six years, and she explores both the happy and the not-so-happy times. However, she never stoops to revenge. Instead, her memories of a young Arnold are warm and touching. This Arnold is the insecure foreigner whom most contemporary Americans either forgot or never knew. This is the story of Arnold forging his career out of broken English and hours of body-building. But this book is more than just another biography of Arnold. Barbara's story is all her own. This is a story of a woman struggling to learn who she is the in shadow of a Titan. This is the story of a woman fighting to cast her own shadow. As such, she touches a nerve in every young woman who has ever sacrificed herself for someone she loved. Hers is a long and winding journey, and she took me right along with her.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Craig Meiners on July 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book hoping to learn more about Arnold. I found that this book is about Barbara, not Arnold. Arnold is just one of the main characters. She keeps writing adjectives about Arnold, but never really says why. I learned very little about Arnold that I didn't already know.

What struck me most was that Barbara knew from day 1 that Arnold was wrong for her, but she dove in anyway, and then wondered why life didn't turn out the way she wanted. She wanted to change Arnold into what kind of a man she wanted. That never works, but so many women think they can pull it off.
Later, she wonders where all the good men are. Well here's a newsflash, Barbara: You are not a good woman, how do you expect to get a good man?
She gave up all her morals and then wondered why she wasn't happy.

She also missed out on a wonderful opportunity to learn from a great man. Arnold may be flawed in many ways, but he knew how to be successful. So often during this book I wanted to scream, "HEY, Barbara, can't you see why Arnold is successful and you aren't? Arnold does it right, you don't." Arnold tried to inspire her to greatness, but she just selfishly wanted Arnold all to herself, to the exclusion of even his best friends. That's not love, that's obsession and ownership.

Frankly, I don't know why Arnold even put up with her for so long.
She says that they had good times, but once I finished the book, I wondered why they ever stayed together. It sure seemed to me that the good times were severely few and far between for Barbara.

I would recommend this book to teenage girls, as a don't-let-this-happen-to-you warning.

Well written, it kept my interest, but I am glad I am done with it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Runnels on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having known Barbara Baker for over 30 years and being acquainted with many of the details of her relationship with Arnold, I would bet that no one knows Arnold like Barbara. Barbara was with Arnold supporting his personal and career growth long before he became the sensation he is now. And, being such a close and integral part of Arnold's life when he was younger, more vulnerable, more accessible and in general, less experienced, her insights into the man he is today are both interesting and heart warming. I truly doubt that there's anyone else who would have the perspective to write such a poignant reflection of who Arnold was then and the prelude of who he has become today.

Every woman who has soared and fallen in the throes of young love only to rise again as their own unique person can identify with this book. I hope this reaches Arnold fans and women everywhere.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Franklin on May 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for more insight into Arnold's psyche, and I found it - what made Arnold drive to be the best. The rest of this book deals with the author's emotional rollar coaster ride as to her relationship with Arnold and her subsequent relationships with men, and her inability to let Arnold go. The author over-emphasizes a "me-me" attitude that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Lemker on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Three hundred and twenty-five pages later, I have two observations.

First, I am sure none of my exes would write such an endearing forward to my memories as Arnold wrote for Barbara. This alone speaks volumes about their relationship and them as individuals. It is truly a wonderful aperitif for the delicious and satisfying meal that follows.

Secondly, I really enjoyed reading about life in wealthy San Marino. I was helped by her book, not only to understand my wife's own high school years there, but also the ensuing years until we met. The road that brought her to my door was similar to the one that brought Barbara to John's.

Oh, perhaps I have a third observation. I am positive none of my English professors had as interesting a life as Barbara describes in her book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. Howe on March 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Wow, what a good read! Barbara, you are an amazing writer. As I turned each page, I felt like I was there with you through all your dreams, disappointments and victories. I loved how real, candid, and honest you are. "Arnold and Me" would be fabulous for a book club. Oh, how women can relate to trials and hurts that you experienced. After reading your book, I can't help but think of Keith Urban's song "Stupid Boy". "So what made you think you could take a life, and just push it, push it around. I guess to build yourself up so high, you had to take her and break her down." But your down times are over! I am so proud of your strength and courage to overcome and succeed in life. I love this quote I once heard, "God isn't concerned with our comfort, He's concerned with our character." With all you have been through, Barbara, you have developed incredible character. You will touch so many with your story. You have touched mine.
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