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The Governator: From Muscle Beach to His Quest for the White House, the Improbable Rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061990043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061990045
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,970,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Who is the real Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Investigative journalist and number one New York Times bestselling author Ian Halperin reveals the true and untold story about this larger-than-life and often outrageous figure

From his childhood in Austria to his rise as a star ofAmerican conservative politics, the story of ArnoldSchwarzenegger’s life reads like the script of a HollywoodB-movie penned by Horatio Alger. In this exclusivepeek behind the curtain, award-winning scoop hunterIan Halperin wades through the myths and rumors todiscover the real Arnold behind the icon, a man definedby unbridled ambition and an unending quest for power.

Based on extensive research, undercover forays, andcandid interviews with many of the Terminator’s closefriends and peers, Halperin brings the myth to life with:

  • a riveting journey through Schwarzenegger’s pastto explore his relationship with his abusive father andhis feelings toward the Nazi party.
  • insights into the shadowy world of bodybuildingand Schwarzenegger’s early steroid use.
  • an investigation of Schwarzenegger’s reputation asa bully and a womanizer, including his alleged affairs and public accusations of sexual harassment—behavior that earned him the nickname “the Groper.”
  • an in-depth look at his long-standing fascination withthe Kennedys and his remarkably seamless assimilation into his wife’s fabled family.
  • a detailed look into Maria’s startling weight loss.
  • an analysis of Schwarzenegger’s political career,revealing him to be a surprisingly effective and talentedgovernor.
  • the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Kennedyfamily to influence Schwarzenegger’s political agenda.

And finally Halperin uncovers the never-before-told details of an incredible and audacious plan for Schwarzenegger to attempt to rewrite the Constitution and run for president of the United States.

About the Author

Ian Halperin is the author of ten books, including NewYork Times bestsellers Unmasked: The Final Years ofMichael Jackson and Love & Death: The Murder of KurtCobain. Specializing in undercover investigations, he hasappeared on hundreds of media outlets around the world,including the Today Show, Dateline, The Howard Stern Show, CNN, CBS’s The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, The New Yorker, the New York Post, Billboard, the BBC, Paris Match, and the LondonDaily Mail. Halperin is also an acclaimed documentaryfilmmaker and a former co-winner of Rolling Stonemagazine’s College Journalism Award. He has given talks about Hollywood and the music industry as a keynote speaker at many colleges and universities. His blog, ianundercover.com, is one of the world’s leading websites about pop culture.


More About the Author

Ian Halperin is also a former winner of the Rolling Stone magazine Award for Investigative Journalism. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including the bestsellers Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Story, and Celine Dion: Behind the Fairytale, as well as a number of exposes on the modeling industry. He coauthored Who Killed Kurt Cobain? with Max Wallace. Ian is a regular correspondent for Court TV and has contributed to 60 Minutes 2.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ian Halperin writes about the seemingly charmed life of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He does a good job on explaining Arnold's motives and drives - if ever there was a self made man this is it. However Ian says he had to go undercover to get some answers from both Arnold and his wife Maria's acquaintances, because they would incur the Schwarzenegger's wrath otherwise. After looking at some pictures of him in `disguise'- sunglasses while training with Lou Ferrigno, one can't wonder if the author was really being `put on' that the interviewees didn't suspect him. He also 'goes undercover' and poses as a body building promoter. Other reports are from neighbors or people who say certain events happened in Arnold's life, and of course the reports of inappropriate behavior are covered in detail and much depth throughout the years. Tales of backstabbing and how Arnold taunts others and his insensitive streak are reported in many instances.

There is just a lot of negativity, so it is surprising that some of the last words in the book is how he would vote for Arnold for president, if the Constitution could be changed. There is some jumping back and forth in the time line and then what he considers his ultimate undercover job - posing as a Republican?
A history of body building is given and there are some pictures, however none of Arnold's younger years. Much of the history and style of the Kennedys is gone into and how they have pulled strings in different instances to help Arnold. Of course then there is the strange statement from Halperin that Teddy's Chapaquiddick instance happened on the night of the Apollo moon landing; when the moon landing was 2 days later. One wonders what other facts might have been mixed up?
This is another example of a gossipy book and if that is what you want to read then this is for you.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's no doubt that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great subject to write about. His life has been rather charmed. At the same time, he's worked far and away harder than most people to get what he wanted. He's planned each step in his road to success.

It's therefore unfortunate the author gave us a mere rehash of what we've already read. While he went to Arnold's home town and traveled extensively, interviewed friend and foe, he came up with little that is new. We still see the same brilliant yet boorish, charismatic yet unlikable character that's in all biographies about the man.

Schwarzenegger is neither vilified nor made into a saint in the book. It's a fair look into his life. The problem is that there's nothing especially new.

We read about the subjects womanizing, his ambition, his inclination to be a self-promoter. But these are all things we've read so many times before. We get a glimpse into his personal life --- but only a glimpse.

The author uses information directly out of other books rather than come up with fresh, first-hand information. An extensive search on the Internet would produce pretty much the same thing.

Having paid twice what the book is selling for in the Amazon Marketplace currently, I'm frankly disappointed.

While I find the writing good and the logical progression compelling, the lack of new information makes this an especially unneeded biography.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marta on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a former competitive bodybuilder I've always admired Arnold and that is the only reason that I read as much of this book as I did. I made it over halfway through before the author's biases caused me give up. The author, no doubt a pencil-necked geek, was unable to write a full chapter without trying to uncover some kind of Nazi-like or bigoted tendencies in Arnold's past. Every tired, worn out liberal paradigm was trotted out; Republicans are uncaring, if one is from Germany or Austria one must have admired Hitler, if one was white and succeeded one must be racist....and on and on and on. And I haven't even mentioned the obligatory discussion of homosexuality. No achievement could be written as standing on its own merit, there must be some hidden Freudian (is that redundant?) meaning behind Arnold's actions. If someone is hoping to read an interesting biography of the life and successes of Arnold it's best to forget this book; unless of course their world view is completely shaped by every PC cliche and liberal talking point currently in vogue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sofia Del Rio on March 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of previews bios of Arnold, so if you read previews ones no need to bother on this one.
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Format: Hardcover
Halperin wrote a good profile on young Arnie, especially his description of Styria and the people there is very informative. It really shows the mindset and character of my great compatriot.
However large parts of the book are trashy gossip, copied gossip and reveal more about the shortcomings of this author. Undercover means for the author to cheat and bluff elder men, his biggest drama is if Arnie ever muttered something antisemitic (.. how many young white men uttered racist remarks towards blacks in the sixties in the locker room?) and beware his father could be a member of the Nazi party during war time. Besides that I would recommend this "undercover" author to watch one of Arnie's movies. Mr Halperin does mix up "Total Recall" with "The running Man" and has never seen "Predator".
If you are interested in Mr Schwarzenegger, the first part is really recommendable, the rest portray more the character of Mr Halperin. Lastly it would have been nice to see more pictures of Mr Schwarzenegger, than the ones with Mr. Halperin.
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