Arnold Schwarzenegger

Only-in-America Capitalist Charm

It's the kind of phenomenon that non-Americans either laugh at or are baffled by. The rise of a steroid-munching, big-grinned, Austrian body builder into Hollywood stardom and then the governorship of the most populous state in the U.S. is an only-in-America story. Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn't even born here. But he is as big a political and cultural presence as anyone.

If you do not understand Schwarzenegger's success, it's worth renting the 1977 film Pumping Iron, which featured his political and human skills in the body-building subculture. He outpsyched his opponents as well as out-trained them. He did a deeply American thing:...

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