From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A fair, balanced book that will interest not just wrestling fans, but reluctant biography readers as well. Beginning with his subject's early life, Cohen methodically takes readers through the various roles that Ventura has played inside and outside of the wrestling ring. The author develops a character beyond the loud-mouthed showman by addressing Ventura's time in the military as a Navy Seal, his marriage and family life, his radio talk-show persona, his attempts at acting, and his surprisingly sensible approach to public service. Throughout, the author takes time to explain certain points in history, such as opposition to the Vietnam War, staged events in pro-wrestling strategy, and the rise and change in the Reform Party. There is one error recording Ventura's entering the gubernatorial race in 1988 instead of 1998. Otherwise, this is an interesting, easy-to-read biography.
Rita Soltan, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-10. "If you understand pro wrestling, you'll understand America," says the author of this colorful biography that follows the iconoclastic wrestler and politician from childhood into his current role as governor of Minnesota. Along with basic biographical information on Ventura, the title includes some background on the Vietnam years and the Navy SEALS, as well as the growth of pro wrestling. Cohen, a self-described wrestling fan, offers opinions along with the facts, with occasionally intrusive results. For example, he speculates about what Ventura was like as a kid. Despite the biases, wrestling fans and students looking for material to support reports will welcome information about a contemporary "legend." Notes and further readings are appended. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved