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Jesse Ventura’s Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me! book review

He shocked the world more than a decade ago by winning as an independent in the race for governor of Minnesota. But that was only the beginning of Jesse Ventura’s quest to bring power back to the people.

Ventura’s Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me! takes readers back to his time in office, and recalls his run-ins with political leaders George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many others. Ventura doesn’t hold back when it comes to how he feels the Bush administration failed to live up to the promises it made during the 2000 presidential campaign. The ex-Navy Seal also unleashes his disgust over the handling of the war in Iraq.

While Ventura makes brief references and flashbacks to his pro wrestling days, he mainly sticks to explaining his view on why the U.S. should not settle for a two-party system that has consistently let down the nation. Referring to either party as “ReBloodlicans and DemoCrips,” after the street gangs the Bloods and the Crips, is odd at first, but his explanation makes the terms suitable.

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Humourous, disturbing and emotional at times, Ventura’s stance on partisan politics makes the book exciting to read from start to finish. Ventura’s views are sometimes unconventional, with his ideas of getting rid of income tax, legalizing marijuana, the Kennedy assassination and his opinion on 9/11 being an inside job. He once told Clinton to “blow that hill off the face of the earth” while dealing with an issue in the Israel and Palestine peace accord.

His outspoken beliefs have put him in the media’s target throughout his years in office, as shown through brief articles reprinted in the book. Ventura strongly believes that the media works hand-in-hand with the two parties, and punishes third party candidates for challenging the status quo.

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The occasional input of his wife Terry, sometimes reproduced from her own journal entries, adds a unique dynamic to the book. She claims she had a tough time adjusting to her new life, and that as Minnesota’s First Lady she was “a total country bumpkin.” She helps give an idea of what kind of man Ventura is like when the cameras are off, and helps show that beyond his charisma, army-like stares and salsa dancing in Cuba, he is simply an average guy trying not to be bullied around by crooked politicians.

At the beginning and end of Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me!, Ventura contemplates running for U.S. presidency. While he provides a fictional conclusion of the 2008 presidential race, the thought of a 2012 run doesn’t sound too far off. While Terry would rather see him out of politics, Ventura wonders what life would be like with a president that doesn’t routinely lie to the public. Until more than half of Americans join the electoral process and stop focusing on celebrity deaths like that of Anna Nicole Smith, only then does Ventura believe a revolution can truly take place. In the paperback edition, he gives his thoughts on the actual 2008 election results.

If you’re looking for a biography on Ventura’s wrestling career, read his first book, I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up. If you want someone that thinks outside of the Fox News and CNN media worlds and who isn’t afraid to point out how deceitful and untrustworthy the U.S. government is, Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me! will give you that. May leave wanting more though.

Don\’t Start The Revolution Without Me!

by Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell

Skyhorse Publishing

May 2009

320 pp.

$14.95

Click here to order the book

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