Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!
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Jesse Ventura has had many lives—as a Navy Seal, as a star of pro wrestling, as an actor, and as the governor of Minnesota. His previous books, I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed and Do I Stand Alone?, were both national bestsellers. Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me! is the story of his controversial gubernatorial years and his life since deciding not to seek a second term as governor in 2002. Written with award-winning author Dick Russell at a secluded location on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Ventura’s new book reveals for the first time why he left politics—and why he is now considering reentering the arena with a possible independent run for the presidency in 2008. It’s hit bestseller lists across the country, energizing everyone who feels that both parties aren’t doing justice to the American people.

Customer Reviews:

  • How I Came to Write a Book with Jesse Ventura
    It all began, fittingly enough, in a bar in Baja. I'd heard that the governor had recently bought a house, not far from property of close friends where I often came to write during the winter. And, sure enough, one night at the local "spot" above the beach, there he was hanging out at a long table.

    When the opportunity arose, I went over and sat down across from him. I'd actually met him briefly several years earlier, soon after he decided not to run for a second term in Minnesota, when he came to Dallas for the 30th anniversary marking President Kennedy's assassination. Having heard that Mr. Ventura was a student of books about the tragedy, I gave him a copy of mine, The Man Who Knew Too Much. So that was how I re-introduced myself in Baja, and it turned out he'd liked the book very much.

    A few days later, my wife and I were walking along our beach when we ran into the governor and his wife, Terry. We invited them up for a drink, which turned into dinner in the course of a long and memorable evening. What a raconteur he was! The Venturas came over once more while I was in the Baja, at which point he mentioned his interest in writing a memoir about his years as governor - and, if I came back next year, maybe we might work on it together.

    When I returned, he hadn't forgotten. We embarked on a series of weekly 90-minute interviews, which I taped in his living room about 10 minutes down the road. I would then transcribe our wide-ranging discussions, which covered everything from insightful and often amusing anecdotes about being an independent governor in a two-party system, to his thoughts on the Iraq War and economics, and much in-between.

    I found that Jesse Ventura not only possessed an agile mind, but a remarkably original one. He came up with things that I'd never heard anyone say before! He was "politics, with a twist," you might say. And he sure didn't pull any punches. The man was a breath of fresh air, as politicians go.

    Over the course of six months, little by little the book came together. It was his idea to ultimately frame the story as a travel narrative, moving through reminiscences and rants as he and Terry made their long overland journey from Minnesota to southern Baja. We also decided to give Terry a real voice, with her perspective on what it was like to be the state's First Lady adding a unique element to the story.

    And it was his idea to create an ending for the book that would be, well, highly unusual and most likely extremely controversial as well. I won't give it away here - but how could it be otherwise when you're Jesse Ventura?

    For me, the journey of assembling his story - of "becoming," in imaginative prose, a 250-pound ex-wrestler who became a maverick governor - was, to say the least, a whole lot of fun.

    - see, for more. ...more info
  • Thought provoking
    I found this book to be highly thought provoking. The style of writing was interesting as well, being on a road trip and the internal thoughts it promotes. Jesse's direct and to the point style is appealing. He demonstrates that governing does not and should not be overtly complicated, yet that is exactly what it is and what most people think it is today. When I finished this book I felt more confident in the idea that governing is not about furthering an agenda, but rather keeping the peace and flow of citizens so that they can further themselves on their own without government interference.

    If you do not like Jesse Ventura, the personality or politician, this book is a good read simply for his thought provoking viewpoints. You will question where you stand on issues and that is a good thing, even if you don't agree now or after.

    ...more info
  • Excellent Book
    If you believe Corporations and Religion breeds fascism, then this is a must read book. If you believe death with dignity (euthanasia) this is for you. I hope Jesse Ventura runs for president!...more info
  • I love this guy!!
    Jesse's format for this book is a little cheesy (hence 4 stars instead of 5- he's flashing back to his career as he and his wife drive to Mexico). The subject matter and what he reveals about our political system was VERY interesting. His pragmatic no-nonsense approach to life is what I admire about him and his book.I wish he would come back,we need more people like him!!...more info
  • The Real Deal--He Should Campaign on Substance in 2008
    This is my first Jesse Ventura book and I am deeply impressed. This man is the real deal, honest, straight-up, with plenty of common sense. His ideal running mate is not John McCain or Robert Kennedy Jr. but rather the star of The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen. I would gladly serve these solid citizens in a staff capacity.

    The book lacks an index, while offering plenty of balanced outrage. This is a serious person who sees all that is wrong with America, and who would have no problem agreeing with the authors of Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It; or Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders.

    A few of my notes from this captivating book and personality:

    + "Special interests have a stranglehold on our reality. Nobody is being told the truth."

    + Castro told him JFK assassination was an inside job. See Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History for confirmation--CIA trained team of Cuban exiles in revenge for Bay of Pigs

    + Reform Party was bogus, Perot let his ego run away with his brain

    + Buchanan hijacked the Reform Party and looted its treasury to pay off his old campaign debts

    + Both political parties are gangs

    + Organized religion is a business milking people like cows for their milk (money)

    + Down on NAFTA

    + Bush-Cheney passing federal laws that prevent states from protecting their own citizens properly from corporate predation

    + 9/11 Commission a cover-up, just as the Warren Commission was--government lies to the people (e.g. Gulf of Tonkin incident, simply cannot be trusted

    + CIA has embedded case officers within state and local governments

    + Positive on Ralph Nader as an honest person bringing up issues the two criminal parties will not raise

    + Properly faults Bush-Cheney for ignoring intelligence and privatizing war while bankrupting the Nation---if not impeachable, should at least be commitable to an insane asylum (see my lists on impeachment and holding Dick Cheney accountable, at least take a look at Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

    + There IS a ruling class, not sure of its composition, we have to take the country back from them

    + Electoral college is long overdue for termination.

    + O'Reilly, all of those talking heads are scripted, media is about generating cash through entertainment, not about informing the citizenry

    + FCC fines broadcasters and others but they are appointed, not elected, and not accountable for their subjective definition of what is obscene

    + "Revisionist history troubles me deeply." page 265. This is the point where I decide this guy is a serious and qualified candidate to be our president.

    + 27 years of Bushes and Clintons, time for an independent party nominee to win and lead

    + National Guard should stay home.

    + Citing Mussolini, fascism is the marriage of corporations and religion. We have that here, now.

    + Need term limits on reporters, not just politicians. Reflects a profound disdain for Minnesota reporters.

    I put the book down at the end of a very long very rainy day feeling good about this author, his independence of mind, his integrity. In combination with Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beau; Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People; The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All; and Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, I have a very strong feeling that the national immune system is going to kick in and finally out these frauds that pretend our elections are honest and meaningful.

    It's a real shame Ralph Nader does not play well with others. I'm going to get in touch with Jesse Ventura and urge him to form a Transpartisan Sunshine Cabinet that can create a balanced budget by the 4th of July 2008. He does not have to run for President, all he has to do is set the standard by which we can judge the fradulence of "the system" candidates. For those enchanted by Barack Obama, as I was until I saw his dishonest advisors, see Obama - The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate....more info
  • nothing fake here
    Jessie Ventura has created a masterpiece for libertarian ideologies that the MSM will be hard pressed to refute. He condemns the two-party system as being detrimental to the comman man's way of life. He covers the lies that led to the Iraq war in a broad sense, but puts his humorous touch on a controversial subject. He raises legitimate concerns over the official version of 9/11 without falling into the trap of absurdity that some of the 9/11 "truthers" do. The failings of our government's respose to hurricane Katrina are documented. Basically, this book addresses questions that every day ordinary Americans have came to ask, and he answers them in a non-committal way of what might the alternative answer be?
    A few other subjects covered are his approaching Sen. John McCain in 2000 and offering to be his running mate if McCain would drop from the Republican party. Then prior to the 2004 elections, he makes the same offer to Robert Kennedy, Jr. if he would leave the Democratic party.
    This book is a very refreshing look at his early life and times, his winning the Minnesota governship against all odds, and how deep the federal government has its tentacles into state politics; even in violation of the 10th amendment. Those of you disgusted with politics as usual will find this book a breath of fresh air.
    ...more info
  • An Ideal Politician
    This is a great read for understanding how a man of true values takes a political stance to improve (or atleast try to improve) politics....more info
  • terrific book.
    This book is both well written and thought provoking. It offers interesting perspectives on subjects I never would have thought of before. An excellent book!...more info
  • Chase Von's Review...
    Normally when I do a review and I don't think I've done that many of them, I have the book or product handy so I can refer to it in case there is something I am trying to say that I think needs to contain more detail. Unfortunately this book was lent to me by a friend and I've since returned it. We have differing views and when they said Jesse believed a lot like me, I thought it was another jab at messing with me.

    I also thought I had done a review already but apparently it didn't take. (I certainly remember writing one). That said, there are books that I personally think every American should read. I won't list them all but Grady Harp's "War Songs", "Enders Game" by Orson Scott Card, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell and this book all fall in that category.

    Jesse is a no holds bar type of person. He doesn't say what is always popular but he does say what he believes and he is also very easy to understand as he doesn't just say things, he backs them up with clear intelligent thoughts and sound reasoning. To be frank, I wasn't expecting this book to be as engaging as it was but once started, I didn't want to stop reading. It tells of his younger years, his family all being veterans to include his mother, and how he himself became a Navy Seal who also served in Vietnam. (I was also surprised to learn his birth date is the same as mine), but what was truly mind boggling to me is how open and honest he is about revealing just about everything in his life!

    Almost through out the book, which I also think added another dimension to it, him and his wife would offer different views on the same subject. So one was able to see not only what he was thinking, but also his wife who I gained a lot of respect for as well. To sum it up, OUTSTANDING READ and A TRUE AMERICAN!

    If it's any indication of how strongly I was touched I added him or I believe it's someone saying it's him on my my space!

    I also would certainly sleep better if he was in the White House!

    There are many things I am not delving into in this review because I think you have to read them yourself and shocking as those revelations are, I can say that if there were more people like Jesse in "Public Office's" through out the land and not what we have sadly become accustomed to, this country would certainly be a better place!

    I wish he would have ran this year but I don't blame him for having a place in Mexico either:)

    Hopefully he will in 2012 providing we have a country left...

    All the books mentioned in this review speak on life or war and possible situations for not only America's future but the future as a whole for all of man kind. If we had more people like Jesse at the helm, I would certainly say the future of this country and yes, that of the world would be in much better hands then ever they have been previously.

    Jesse is honest, truthful, full of integrity and good old fashion common sense and yes, a love for this country and all its people regardless of race or creed or sex.

    I started this book admittedly, with an eye of skepticism as I thought I was being told to read it as a joke based on my own beliefs. I finished it with a heart felt respect for a genuine man who I myself would be thankful to call leader and certainly, Mr President.

    Your Chance to Hear The Last Panther Speak...more info
  • Jesse's Thoughts/Confessions
    Here is an Independent (not a Democrat or Republican) who got fed up with what was going on in his local/state government, and rallied the people around him. It was to the point that he actually got elected to Governor of Minnesota. I believe him when he tells of how everything is controlled by the Dems and Repubs, the media, etc. On a personal experience, I was in security at one of three U.S Government run Uranium Enrichment operations. The protest group against uranium enrichment for use, was actually lead by the U.S Government. So we knew 30 days in advance when they were coming to protest at the site operations. If you're a doubter about how the people are really controlled in America, read this book, look up the facts on the web or at the library that Jesse states, and you'll see this is a man who wants to help the people in America, and is angry at how our own Government treats us. Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!...more info
  • Love It
    Gov. Ventura has a way with words and an ability to make you think by saying what we all think but rarely have the courage to say. Outstanding book!...more info
  • Jesse is in it for......Jesse
    After being Gov of Minnesota, a couple things are clear.
    Jesse is in it for Jesse....not liberty
    After a while..he turned into just another Pro-govt liberal.
    Thanks for the light rail billion dollar assumement ride Jesse!!
    (got to get that federal "free money")
    He's for change alright......what ever is left in your pocket!

    ...more info
  • Refreshing
    This book was a refreshing look into the political process and the hinderances of being a third party candidate. Has quite a few misspellings and grammatical errors but is an interesting book over all....more info
  • jesse ventura
    awesome book this man should be our next president. this is a mst read for anyone who follows politics!...more info
  • Jesse "the Mind'' Ventura
    What can I say, Jesse Ventura calls a spade a spade and tells it like it is (through his eyes). I don't disagree with a lot of what Jesse says in this book but some of his views are oversimplified which shows he doesn't always think through exactly what is coming out of his mouth.

    But if you watch all the videos of Jesse on the internet - one thing always comes to my mind. This is a man who loves to hear himself talk. Regardless of his views - right or wrong. He loves to just go on and on and conquer every hot topic out there. Very often with little to no support for the basis of his opinion or solution to fix it. This book is identical to all the little videos of him circulating. I like him - sometimes because I agree with him and respect his clarity. Sometimes purely because he is entertaining - right, wrong or overly simplified. His book fits this mold. The most appealing thing about him to his fans is that he was a politician and we all dream that our other elected officials behaved with the morality and simplicity Jesse does.

    This book is about the trip Jesse and his Wife make out of the US to live in Mexico. Along that trip he recalls many memories as governor of Minnesota and volunteers his current views in political issues of the day. The thing that is so damn compelling about Jesse is he cuts through the semantics and says it exactly how he sees it. And 90% of the time it jives with everyone else. And I like that, especially from a politician. Jesse said America has become very boring - same chain restaurants, same chain stores - he's right. His view and remedies on our two party politics and term limits is on mark.

    His view on immigration - "just throw them out" is not practical. Illegals are so intertwined in our economy that to do so would cripple it. And there is a "human" side to the story. His view on Castro leans more like he was so impressed by him that his emotional connection triggers his response to open relations with this country, But, it's not that simple.

    Jesse really wet my whistle with the 9/11 "conspiracy" and very important unanswered questions by our government. I have done a lot more reading as a result of his views.

    Just is a great book if you're a fan. If you know little of him as a politician - I recommend this book. Easy read, interesting read - he's a fascinating man.

    ...more info