Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Booknote: Schwarzenegger Syndrome

Title: Schwarzenegger Syndrome
Author: Gary Indiana
Publication details: New York: New Press, 2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Political writing
133 pages

This is an irreverent narrative of how Arnold went on to become the governor of California given that he had no political experience, and he certainly was not the most qualified candidate. In the process, Gary Indiana reveals how the media and celebrity helped Arnold to reach the governor's mansion in California. The books says as much about Arnold as it says about the voters who put him there in the first place. The book employs research, facts, and some dark humor to illustrate how the people of California were taken by the celebrity status of the man they sent to Sacramento after they got rid of Gray Davis. At the end of the day, the author concludes, what mattered was the image, not the substance. Recommended for readers who may be interested in California politics as well as national politics since Gary Indiana also makes some interesting observations about the national political arena. The book is a quick read as well.

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