Total Recall: Schwarzenegger’s unbelievably fascinating book

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Total Recall: Schwarzenegger’s unbelievably fascinating book

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger has not received a lot of good reviews. In fact, you might observe that the reviews are snarky, nasty and really mean in some cases.

Schwarzenegger was a great actor, a very good governor of California, a decent husband with faults and an author dedicated to minute detail of his life.

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life StoryI found the book fascinating. Schwarzenegger offers a refreshing candor and detail that may sound drab and boring to the critics, but describes who he really is. Schwarzenegger is an immigrant from Austria — maybe the reason why the media hates him so much, they loath anyone from the “Aryan” or Germanic heritages — a successful body builder, a very good actor and a politician. He married into the Kennedy dynasty, wedding Maria Shriver, the daughter of Sargeant and Eunice Shriver.

He overcome huge obstacles with pure determination and belief in himself to rise up to become one of the most successful and recognized bodybuilders in the World.

He parlayed that into Hollywood movies, starring in several of my absolute favorite films. In his book, Schwarzenegger offers insights and remembrances of events that are fascinating.

I listened to the audio book. Three large files of about 9 hours each.

His story is an immigrant success story. He became governor when everyone said he couldn’t, including his wife. Yet he did it. he didn’t go off the deep end like former Governor Jesse Ventura, nor did he become the political icon like Ronald Reagan. But he left a lasting legacy in California.

It is amazing how easily the public is manipulated by a partisan and biased media. Many of the writers hate Schwarzenegger. He was a centrist Republican, something liberals loath even more than right wing fanatic Republicans because the centrists are so much harder to discredit.

He overcame many obstacles to become successful and his book should inspire others to pursue their dreams and their goals without fear. Schwarzenegger did it and he hopes you are inspired to do the same.

He doesn’t dwell on the most recent news and scandal to haunt his career. He cheated on his wife and had a baby with the woman who was a housemaid. It happened 14 years ago. He didn’t even know he had the child until many years later. But Shriver had heard the rumors and confronted Arnold just after Arnold left public life. At least she considered his career. Schwarzenegger talks about that event and apologizes for it. Not with excuses but with genuine remorse. He acknowledges he hurt his wife and his four children. That incident probably more than all the rest have pushed the critics to extremist assault against him.

Whatever Maria does, that is between the two of them. But it doesn’t minimize his successful life and his inspiring story of an immigrant with so many things that might hold others back to become the success he did.

I loved the book. I urge you to read it or listen to the audio book, too.

— Ray Hanania

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania