Very few people can’t have heard of Arnie, the body builder turned actor turned governor. Not so many know how he’s achieved the things he’s done, and that is what this book lays out.
Schwarzenegger tells his life story, starting from his early days in an Austrian village that had no running water through to his super-stardom and on to his move into politics. He’s met with world leaders, spoken at the United Nations, made a fortune in real estate, earned a business degree and co-created a chain of restaurants.
He’s not shy about stating his accomplishments; from winning a record number of titles, moving body building out of the shadows, creating a business empire, becoming a box office star and successfully running for office.
Something he doesn’t appear to give any credit to is the timing of his birth. It may have been in a year of famine, not long after the end of WWII, but that makes him a baby boomer — a generation that experienced unprecedented economic growth that had little to do with talent. That said, there are few who can rival his climb.
He comes across as pretty candid too, unafraid to show where he made mistakes whilte standing behind his opinions. He dedicates a chapter to his much-publicised infidelity, for example. There are a few times where his views skirt the edge of being offensive too, although he doesn’t seem to realise it.
Overall, it’s an entertaining read from a star who appears to be a genuine and interesting guy who is fascinated by a range of subjects, great at many things, yet aware of his fallibilities and shortcomings. You don’t need to be a fan to enjoy it.
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Paperback copy of the book
Reviewed: 27th January 2018