Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger

Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger

Laurence Leamer

St. Martin's Press




The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most remarkable success stories in the U.S. Here is a young man from an Austrian village who became the greatest bodybuilder in history, a behemoth who even today in retirement is the dominating figure in the sport. Here is an immigrant with a heavy accent and a four syllable last name, who marries a Kennedy princess and becomes the number one movie star in the world, an icon known and celebrated everywhere. Here is a political novice with no administrative experience who becomes governor of California in one of the most unusual and controversial elections in American history, and confounds his critics by proving an effective, popular leader.

In Fantastic, Leamer shows how and why this man of willful ambition and limitless drive achieved his unprecedented accomplishments. As the author of a celebrated trilogy on the Kennedy family, Leamer has access to a unique array of sources. Leamer traveled with candidate Schwarzenegger during the gubernatorial campaign. He has interviewed Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, and their closest friends and associates, most of whom had never talked to an author before. The result is a startlingly intimate book, the pages studded with news making revelations. This book of passionate intensity captures a Schwarzenegger unlike any other public figure of our time, a unique political/cultural figure, his time in Sacramento only a way station on a journey where no one has traveled before. The book captures the personal Schwarzenegger, too, and the story of his single days, marriage, and family life. No one who reads this book will ever see Schwarzenegger in the same way again.


Chapter One

The American Dream

As California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stood at the podium of the Republican National Convention in August 2004, scanning the vast assemblage, everything was fantastic. Arnold's favorite word...


Praise for Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger

“No American immigrant's tale of our time is more extraordinary than that of the man who is not only Mr. Universe Emeritus but also Hollywood's beloved Terminator, California's popular Governor, the star Republican of the Kennedy family and the nation's possible future President: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Charting Arnold's rise from the backwoods of Austria to the pinnacle of success, Laurence Leamer has written a modern Horatio Alger story that guides us through the hidden rooms of bodybuilding, action movies and finally politics in America in the 21st century. Rich with new interviews and sources, the book illuminates not only Schwarzenegger's life, but the very process of achieving fame itself. Utterly fascinating, unflinchingly candid and relentlessly readable, Fantastic will be the standard by which all other works on Arnold Schwarzenegger are judged.” —Nigel Hamilton, author of JFK: Reckless Youth

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Laurence Leamer

Laurence Leamer is the bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Kennedy Women and Madness Under the Royal Palms. He is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine,Harper's, and Playboy, and has written cover stories for Newsweek. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, Florida.

Laurence Leamer

Vukasin Boskovic

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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