10 November 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography – like his Terminator alter ego – lacks wit, charm or self-awareness

The sleep of reason breeds monsters, and one of the most alarming creatures dreamed up by our irrational culture is the stogy-puffing bogey Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the spirit of the age made flesh, and his careers as athlete, actor and politician have dramatised its most disturbing paradoxes – the showdown between technology and human nature, the reduction of art to self-marketing, the transformation of government into a branch of showbiz. His surname, translated, means "black corner": he is the dead end at which the evolution of our species and the development of our society have abruptly arrived.

Arnie's very existence is a vindication of the Third Reich's values. Born in 1947 in defeated Austria, he is, as he once admitted, an unrepentant admirer of Hitler's oratory, and while still a teenager – after experimentally crashing some tanks during his military service, »

- Peter Conrad

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