THE GREATEST IMMIGRANT SUCCESS STORY OF OUR TIME His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages. He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star. By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe. Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world. Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, landscaping, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in Stay Hungry. Within twenty years, he was the world’s biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family. Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow bodybuilders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world. He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, and bipartisan solutions. With Maria Shriver, he raised four fantastic children. In the wake of a scandal he brought upon himself, he tried to keep his family together. Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, in his own voice. Here is Arnold, with total recall.read more
Reviews forTotal Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
Arnold should have picked another of his film titles for his autobiography: True Lies. His total recall is a faulty recall at best. His Borat rendering of his upbringing in Austria might be appreciated by gullible Americans. The German translation justs fails to include many of the atrocious statements in Arnold's account. For the record, around 12 percent of Austrians work for the government and not as Arnold claims 70 percent. Arnold grew up in the rural village of Thal which happens to be only 6 miles distant from the city center of Austria's second largest city. Similar to Walden Pond in Concord near Boston, MA, this is rural life by choice. His home has been turned into a museum recently and it is a splendid house indeed (and not the home of a poor family). Arnold's account has to be taken with a large grain of salt.What the book (understandably) fails to fully discuss, is the family's Nazi connection. He mentions that his father was a party member but as a sergeant small fry. He fails to mention that Graz was named a Hochburg des Nationalsozialismus (a center of national-socialism) and the Styrian police filled with Nazis. Arnold's father as soldier and policeman didn't participate in atrocities mostly because Graz was declared "judenrein" from a very early date. Given the reluctance his parents showed when forced to relinquish Arnold's Nazi propaganda children books many years after the war during Austria's mild denazification period, their world view must have influential on young Arnold. The similarities between the upbringing of Arnold and Adolf Hitler are striking: Both had an alcoholic, violent elderly father working in government security and a weak young mother who left the child grow up without supervision. The difference between Arnold and Adolf was Arnold's persistent luck to find mentors who gave inspiration and direction to the lost youth.Arnold's two main qualities are his willingness of working harder (going the extra mile, lifting the extra pound) and cheating. As he himself gloats in the book, his victories are often the result of small cheats and the opposite of fair-play. As a true Republican, rules are not deemed to apply to him - which he lists under "Arnold's rules" in the rape-y "When someone tells you no, you should hear yes". The book more or less minimizes his groping and sexual peccadilloes. The saddest part, however, is how he excludes his wife from important life decisions. She is only allowed to acknowledge his setting up a heart operation or starting his political campaign. This Conan approach does not fit into the 21st century as does his inordinate fondness of crooks (Richard Nixon, Kurt Waldheim, ...).His affinity to crooks and his ability as a snake-oil salesman helped him tremendously in Hollywood. Schwarzenegger went there to make money, lots of money and even more money. Money is the yardstick he measures everything with. A movie's or a partnership's worth is determined how much it earns - for him. When others or his partners lose money, it is their fault. Perhaps the most atrocious example of this is poor newly arrived Arnold's early car accident which injured others. He neither paid for their injuries nor paid the bill for those repairs. A gentleman would at least now seek to pay for the damages he caused, given all his wealth. He didn't and he doesn't feel such an obligation. This "I've got mine" approach is especially sad as his career was based on many a kindness of strangers who helped the poor kid along (which doesn't fit into Arnold's Social Darwinist world view).A remarkable career by a man who preserved the small-minded, patriarchal world-view of a provincial policeman's son is told in this partial recall that would benefit from an annotated edition.read more
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