Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
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In his signature larger-than-life style, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall is a revealing self-portrait of his illustrious, controversial, and truly unique life.
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.
I also cleared it with Mike Medavoy. Compared to Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer felt like a trip to Club Med. We were shooting in Mexico, on a budget about equal to the first Conan’s, so there were great settings and plenty of money to work with. What was missing was John Milius, who wasn’t available to write or direct the sequel. Instead, the studio took a much more active role, leading to what I thought were big mistakes. Universal had E.T. on the brain. The company had made so much
whole six weeks of basic training, there was no leaving Graz. I didn’t mind basic training. It taught me that something that seems impossible at the start can be achieved. Did we ever believe that we could climb a cliff in full field gear? No. But when we were ordered to do it, we did. And along the way, we even stuffed our pockets with mushrooms, which we turned over to the cook that night to make soup. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to compete for Junior Mr. Europe. I
stole every minute I could to hit my practice poses in the latrine. I begged the drill sergeant to treat this like he would a family emergency and to let me go to Stuttgart, Germany, to compete. No chance. The night before the event, I finally decided fuck it and walked out of the gate. A seven-hour train ride later, I was in Stuttgart, hitting my poses in front of a few hundred fans and soaking up the cheers. I won the title 1965 Best Built Junior Athlete of Europe. It was the first time I’d
problems, and instead I had exhausted their patience by forcing them, just twenty-four months after a trying recall election, to go back to the polls and digest all kinds of big ideas. I had put the burden of solving problems on them, when they wanted me to take care of it. Even Maria complained that she couldn’t possibly do all the reading necessary to make informed decisions on the initiatives. The voters thought they were getting a diet pill when they elected me. Instead, I had turned around
My son Patrick and I flew to Europe in 2011 for the unveiling at the Graz Museum of an eight-foot tall, 580-pound bronze of me as Mr. Olympia in a favorite pose, the three-quarter back. © Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND SOURCES MEMOIRS ARE ABOUT LOOKING back, but I’ve lived my life by the opposite principle. So when people over the past two decades asked me to write a memoir, I always answered, “At home I have a hundred photo albums starting with my childhood in Austria,