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Arnold: The Early Years (The Unauthorized Biography)

Arnold: The Early Years (The Unauthorized Biography) [Kindle Edition]

Wendy Leigh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

With three New York Times bestsellers under her belt, on October 1, 2012 – the very same day as Schwarzenegger is set to release his official autobiography – Leigh readies herself to take on the Terminator and his team once more with the e-book issue of “Arnold: The Early Years” – the update of her notorious 1990 book, “Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography.”

Based on years of research on both sides of the Atlantic and scores of personal interviews with Arnold’s colleagues, lovers, relatives, childhood companions, friends and rivals, Wendy Leigh’s definitive unauthorized biography, “Arnold: The Early Years” reveals a startling portrait of a man who has allowed nothing to stand in the way of his meteoric rise to the top.

“Arnold’s autobiography shows Arnold as he wants to be shown,” says Leigh. “My book reveals Arnold’s past as it really is. I broke all of the stories about him long before anyone was prepared to listen, and I was ultimately vindicated in the end.”

Focused on Schwarzenegger’s early years, “Arnold: The Early Years” is a fascinating roadmap of how one man’s talent, drive, bravado, charm, determination, and opportunism have brought him to the upper echelons of Hollywood and American politics– and how those same traits have proven to be his downfall.

Meticulously researched, unutterably juicy and a must-read for Schwarzenegger fans and foes alike, “Arnold: The Early Years” explores:
• From small-town gyms to celebrity mansions: the no-holds-barred story behind one young European immigrant’s meteoric rise to become one of the most powerful men in America
• Arnold’s long-standing feud with Sly Stallone – how Stallone acted as Leigh’s ‘angel’ and ‘deep throat’ while she was writing “Arnold “(“He helped me find an agent, got me advice from a security firm, and fed me information, all of which I fact-checked obsessively”)
• The tortured family dynamics, drug use, cruel practical jokes and manipulation tactics behind the muscle
• The courting of Maria Shriver, the mistresses and more! The down and dirty details of Arnold’s infidelity throughout the years
• Behind the scenes of Arnold’s rise to Hollywood fame: how, despite a thick accent and little experience, he became the most sought-after action star in the world and Governor of California

Praise for Wendy Leigh’s ARNOLD:

“I owe a special debt to the biographers that came before me: Wendy Leigh for her remarkable research into Schwarzenegger’s early life and career – greatly aided by something I lacked, a fluent command of German – which resulted in her excellent ‘warts and all’ 1990 book, Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography.”
-- Author of “The Governator” (Harper Luxe, 2010), Ian Halperin

“He (James Willwerth, a Time reporter for 23 years) adds, after checking out her [Wendy Leigh’s] research using her thirty-four pages of source notes in the back of Arnold as a guide, “I came away with respect for her thoroughness. It was very well reported. My nose told me it was on target.”
-- “Strong Arming the Hollywood Press,” Neil Koch, The Columbia Journalism Review, February 1991

About the Author:

Wendy Leigh is the New York Times bestselling author of Prince Charming: The JFK Jr. Story, The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy - also a play, which premiered in America - and True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess, and co-author of Life with My Sister Madonna. Her other biographies include Liza: Born a Star, Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography, Edward Windsor: Royal Engima. She ghosted Zsa Zsa Gabor's autobiography, and her first book, What Makes A Woman G.I.B. (good in bed) was published when she was 25.

Leigh is a journalist who began her career at BBC in London and whose articles have appeared in publications such as People, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Mail and more. She divides her time between London, Los Angeles and New York.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Lionheart Books (6 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009IY4HZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,283 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great 14 Feb 2013
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i am currently reading this book on my kindle fire hd it is fab cant stop reading it very interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review 12 Dec 2012
By Mr
For an unauthorized biography Wendy Leigh has done a good job. I feel pretty sure without its presence on the bookshelves Arnold's autobiography would be more an exercise in artifice and self promotion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light On Arnold's Dark Side 1 Oct 2012
By John Townley - Published on
As the reading world rushes to get Arnold's new supposedly tell-all (it doesn't) autobiography, and news reporters, especially female ones, savage him for what he did to his wife ("she gave up her career for you!"), one may still be at a loss to understand this vastly-successful yet highly-flawed individual. For decades he was lionized by the public (and especially the Republican Party, whom he espoused early) for being a rags-to-riches self-made man, who rose from ignorance and poverty to wealth and fame by sheer will power. Yet since the revelations about his hidden affairs and the love child by his housekeeper under his wife Maria's nose, he seems to some as despicable as John Edwards, another might-have-been-President who, thankfully, wasn't. How easily fooled is the public by apparent incarnations of their dreams that turn out to be vain, morally-corrupt shells.

Yet, long before the scandals broke, the inner analysis of Arnold had already been made - clearly, insightfully, and even sympathetically - by investigative journalist and author Wendy Leigh in her 1990 unauthorized biography of the Austrian phenom, now updated as Arnold, The Early Years. Exhaustively well-researched and thoughtfully-arranged, the book looks deep under the skin to paint a psychological portrait of an often-abused and needy child who learned to overcome by imitating many of the qualities of his abusers. Indeed, the key to his future successes and faults lie very much in his early years and how he used what was available in recovering post-Nazi Austria, physically and psychologically, to rise in the world.

Of course, you probably won't have heard of this wonderful book, because it arrived on the scene in 1990 when Arnold was at the height of his influence in the publishing and entertainment worlds and he made every effort to suppress it, from leaning on business associates to actual break-ins at the offices that published it. Even though the work often praised him for his talent and achievements, it revealed a dark side that just didn't fit the image he was selling, and that side instinctively went into action to smother it, from up-front lawsuits to behind-the-scenes skullduggery, with considerable success at the time. Hopefully, now that the dark side has come to light through Arnold's own doing, it won't be as easy to stifle it this time.

So what is this dark side? It is the unmitigated worship of the self and of material success that turns all comers, friend and foe alike, into real or potential adversaries. And once adversaries have been conquered, either through skillful effort or just luck, they are held in contempt as losers. Indeed, in rejecting his father's Nazi past, he recently described to reporters the population of where he grew up as, by definition, losers (hey, they lost the war). Yet, in his very contempt, he espouses the "Triumph of the Will" philosophy that separates and promotes one set of people over another, except in his case the ex-Nazis are the bottoms, not the tops, so he disrespects them just as they disrespected others. Indeed, if there is any extra human quality that should be considered a mortal, not a venial sin, it is contempt, the lack of respect for others driven by one's own blind personal and competitive needs. It is a deep and socially dangerous character fault.

And it is just this sin that, when Arnold has occasionally fallen (this time more than most), has brought him down. It is still there, alive and motivating, and easily evident in the amoral way he brushes off the self-induced implosion of his marriage. He sees it not as the result of an ongoing fault in need of repair, but as a simple mistake, "the stupidest mistake of this relationship", a remark reporters have rightly latched onto with disbelief. And mistakes, well, you discount them and go on, and as long as they don't actually make you a "loser", they don't really matter that much, they're a write-off, especially if you do some genuine good works and occasionally allow the bright side of the inner child to surface (which he does, and trades on, to his credit).

We all are getting to see this rather blatantly now, but Wendy Leigh saw it two decades ago and as reward got sidelined for her prescient insight and fine journalism. And if you want to find the key to the real Arnold, you will go here, to her seminal work, to find it, not to Arnold's latest self-promoting autobiographical effort to rebrand himself into a winner again, disregarding his faults.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, suppressed - and exploited 25 Nov 2012
By 111 - Published on
Wendy Leigh's unauthorized bio is a far more intelligent and rewarding read than the auto-bio. To the first (excellent) review I would like to add that Leigh's book may have been fought and oppressed at the time, but perhaps even more cleverly, it has been USED and quoted by sources close to Arnold's publicity machine:

Firstly, muscle magazines have been reiterating Arnold anecdotes that read as if taken right out this book for years on an almost monthly basis.

Secondly, a (probably German language only) bio by journalist Hans Janitschek ("Arnold von Kalifornien", which was commissioned as a sneaky advertisement-type bio by some Austrian sources shortly after Arnold's first gubernatorial election) repeatedly references to Leigh's book almost right from the start in a way that obviously wants readers to think "I don't need to get Leigh's book anymore because Mr Janitschek already showed me how harmless, unimportant and boring it is" - which is of course wrong. Janitschek confuses even very basic facts about Arnold's career and in trying to steer readers away from Leigh looks foolish - like someone hopping around in front of something he doesn't want you to see, making you all the more curious to look for yourself. THANKS go to Mr Janitschek for this failed strategy - he made me aware and I bought Leigh's book used.

The muscle mags' strategy, if it was driven by an intention similar to Janitschek's, has been far more clever. As far as I know, they never referenced or even mentioned the book and used only the juicy, fun episodes, like those about Arnold's psych-out strategies which the bodybuilder scene wants to read about. It's noteworthy by the way that this certain pool of fans, judging by the mags' repeated selections, seems to tolerate a much higher level of Arnold's mischievousness than the kind of audience Arnold imagined for his autobiography; even 2011's scandal was dismissed with a short note like "...he screwed up there, but as we know him, since he's the greates of all time, he won't even let THAT affect him". Not a PR statement one would choose for a more general public.

In short, Leigh's book has been used and at the same time "quasi-censored" due to these exploits. I even believe these certain exploitations have contributed to Arnold's general image so much that it was an important frame of reference in writing his own book, as in "let's see what bits I can take from this and that source and tell my own accounts of them", which fits another reviewer's observation of the auto-bio that it is, most of all, a guarded or even defensive book.

How much of Leigh's book is true and what may be exagerrated, misquoted or false from the start will remain just as uncertain as with the auto-bio, and many of the quoted (and partly "anonymously" quoted) accounts should be taken with a grain of salt, and the reader should take a step back from Leigh's ready-made pseudo-psychological conclusions and rather come to his own. But her book's quality is that it allows for that personal conclusion; it does give the reader that much space.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 16 Jan 2013
By Scott York - Published on
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Obviously well researched and entertaining! Read about the ARNOLD you only thought you knew. Enjoyed it immensely! Highly recommended reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 9 July 2013
By Robert - Published on
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Outstanding inside information most readers won't know. Years ago I read Wendy Leighs book "Arnold, An Unauthorized Biography" and it told things about Arnold few people knew about in his life. This book also informs the reader about inside details about his life only his most trusted friends would know. Arnold's life always fantasized me. And being a reader about famous celebrity's biography's , it doesn't disappoint. Wendy backs up all her information with facts and interviews from Arnold's life over the years. From growing up as a young boy, to bodybuilding's most famous face, to movie super star.
Highly recommend. You won't be disappointed.
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow Moving 22 May 2014
By Sandi Gillespie - Published on
Verified Purchase
It was a slow story. It also left a lot to be desired. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends. It was more about beginnig and today in his life. The middle was more or less left out
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