Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger

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9780312933012: Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger

He has been known as the Austrian Oak, Mr. Universe, and the Terminator. Now he answers to "Governor." From humble beginnings in a small Austrian village, Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped himself into the greatest bodybuilder in history, the biggest movie star in the world, and a political force to be reckoned with--all with raw ambition and driving self-confidence. In Fantastic, esteemed biographer Laurence Leamer captures Arnold's amazing story as no one else could. Drawing on unprecedented interviews with Arnold, his wife Maria Shriver, and Arnold's friends, family, lovers, competitors, business partners, and political adversaries, Leamer offers a brilliant, uniquely detailed portrait of this self-made man who married a Kennedy princess and scaled the heights of America's elite. Readers will discover:

· A troubled youth: growing up the son of a strict former Nazi and overcoming adversity by discovering the potential of weight training
· The superhuman: the arrogant showman who revolutionized bodybuilding--and his astounding string of Mr. Olympia titles
· Blockbuster stardom: why a heavy accent and wooden acting style couldn't keep Arnold and his publicist from marketing him into the world's largest grossing film icon
· The unlikeliest Kennedy: his marriage to Maria Shriver and her role in Arnold's rise to governor of the Golden State
...and more!

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From the Inside Flap:

Fantastic is a biography like no other about a man like no other. The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most extraordinary success stories of our time. An immigrant with a heavy accent from a village in Austria, he became the greatest bodybuilder in history, the number one movie star in the world, the Republican husband of a Kennedy Princess, and the governor of the greatest of American states with a game plan that he hopes may bring him to the White House.

Fantastic is a lesson in how to succeed. It shows how and why this man of willful ambition and limitless drive achieved his unprecedented accomplishments. The book is startlingly intimate, written with a novelist’s panache, and an historian’s rigor.

Laurence Leamer, one of America’s preeminent biographers, has found his most fascinating subject ever. Leamer has extensively interviewed both Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger's closest associates, including his elementary school friends in Austria, his mentors, bodybuilding competitors, lifelong friends, first serious girlfriend, lovers, his longtime publicist and agent, producers, directors, political friends and foes, many of whom have never before been interviewed.

In this groundbreaking biography, Leamer captures the public and private Schwarzenegger, who could change the face of politics in our country. What is most extraordinary is how much the life of this most famous of men was unknown and uncharted until Fantastic. Here is the poignant story of Schwarzenegger’s traumatic relationship with his father and how his first mentor, a Jewish partisan in WW II, helped shape the youth. Here is the intimate story of Schwarzenegger’s first great love and the five years the couple lived together. And here is the passionate account of Schwarzenegger’s decade long affair with Maria Shriver and their marriage.

About the Author:

LAURENCE LEAMER has written many bestsellers, including The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men, and Sons of Camelot. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach.

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