Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!
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Jesse Ventura—former governor, wrestler, and Navy SEAL—on what's wrong with the Democrats, the Republicans, and politics in America.

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.

In a fast-paced and often humorous narrative, Ventura pulls no punches in discussing our corrupt two-party system, the disastrous war in Iraq, and what he suspects really happened on September 11. He provides personal insights into the Clinton and Bush presidencies, and elaborates on the ways in which third parties are rendered impotent by the country's two dominant parties. He reveals the illegal role of the CIA in states like Minnesota, sensitive and up-to-date information on the Blackwater security firm, the story of the American spies who shadowed him on a trade mission to Cuba, and what Fidel Castro told him about who really assassinated President John F. Kennedy. This unique political memoir is a must-read for anyone concerned about the direction that America will take in 2008. 16 b/w photographs.

Customer Reviews:

  • great
    I love Jesse's non conventional views on politics. First book of his I have read, and was really impressed. Very Satisfied, i recommend it to anyone!...more info
  • Very Interesting Read
    First, let me be upfront with you- I am a wrestling fan. But not in the traditional sense, but rather, I love to watch what wrestling presents to its fans on TV, and then distill what is really happening behind the scenes. Fast forward to late May/early June, when Governor Ventura was making the talk show rounds, promoting this book. He landed on Hannity and Colmes on Fox, and had both of those two stammering for a response. He said some very controversial things; not just for the sensation factor, but because he believed these things to be true. Controversial topics like the Kennedy assassination, the Twin Towers disaster on 9/11. These comments intrigued me.
    Add to that, his startling rise to the top of Minnesota politics in the early 2000's-- well, to me that cinched it. I wanted to know more, and this book purported to give me the low down.

    About the book- if it were mine to publish, I would make sure that my editor cleaned up all of the typographical errors. There were many in the first third of the book, and it was kind of distracting. Aside from that, this book was a terrific read, told mostly as a first person recollection, with the narrative weaving between Gov. Ventura's personal history and his travel in his motor home to Baja. Along the story, his wife Terry adds some interesting observations from her perspective, and to me, that rounded out the narrative and indicated what a tight, great relationship the two share. This is a fun read, with interesting trivia and tidbits about third party politics that should make most Americans in the center realize that there is more going on in government that is reported in the news. Contrasted with Scott McClellan's book, this says many of the same things about the current political climate, but is a much more pleasurable read. (Sorry, I find Scott boring).

    Pick this one up- you won't regret it. You will learn a lot about third party politics, and a man who wouldn't fall in line with the political climate of today.

    The title says "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!," but I think Gov. Ventura is the one who has started the revolution already....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
  • 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
  • Jesse for President!
    Great book. Insights into the way Jesse thinks and feels about issues. Jesse For President!...more info
  • Don't Start The Revolution Without Me
    FINALLY, THE TRUTH ABOUT the SAD shape of this country! If ONLY we had a President that had the SAME CANDOR as Jesse Ventura! It's time to start over! What we have IS NOT WORKING! Way to go GOVERNOR!...more info
  • Excellent . You Need to Know That ---
    Jesse was unable to find a major publisher who would publish this book despite his previous 2 best-sellers. The reason should be obvious: the publishing industry (similar to all corporate-controlled media in America) has a political agenda. They either don't want or are not allowed to publicize people who are calling for real change in America.

    As Jesse points out, the radio and TV talking heads get their orders from the top. Perhaps that is why Americans are constantly bombarded with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Hannah Montana. It distracts voters from the real problems, allowing Washington to continue its raid on American living conditions.

    Jesse makes the case that both parties are one in the same and he is absolutely right. And neither party will allow a third party any viable access to voters because they want to preserve their status quo BS; the same BS that has handed the reins of government over to corporations. This is precisely why most Americans are suffering while jobs continue to go overseas and America's wealthy get richer.

    The one thing the book neglects is an explanation of the economic transition that is taking place, as well as the insourmountable challanges faced by America. In fairness, such detail would have clouded his passionate and inspirational message to Americans.

    To fill in this gap, I would highly recommend America's Financial Apocalypse. It is by no means a light read, but it is equally relevant, if not more (given the current economic situation). And it certainly serves to reinforce the fundamental changes expressed in Jesse's book.

    America's Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression (Condensed Edition)

    Also recommended is Lee Iococa's book. It is similar only in spirit to Jesse's and well worth the read.
    Where Have All the Leaders Gone?...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
  • Jesse For Prez
    Very easy quick read.Great for plane trips. Jesse is a very interesting person. A fine patriot. The book describes his entire life very well. I hope there are more people thinking like he does. A third party is a must for this country. The country needs some serious reform. A person like Jesse Ventura can do it. ...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
  • Interesting read...
    This book contains some fascinating accounts of events throughout Jesse Ventura's adult life, including numerous vignettes of his time as governor of Minnesota. He also freely expresses his concerns for the state of our nation, its foreign and domestic policies, and its future. As Jesse is also a veteran of the Navy Seals, one can hardly write these concerns off as "unpatriotic." He calls things as he sees them, a quality rarely found in the media today! If you have an inquiring mind, you will probably enjoy this book....more info
    Jesse is clearly well on his way toward figuring out that all is not as we were told. He sees the 911 coverup. He experienced firsthand the CIA meddling in domestic affairs outside of their supposed mandate. He saw and relates in the book many of the inconsistencies of controlled, two-party politics in cahoots with a completely controlled mass media that prevent the American people from learning the truth. So, for the most part, he does get it.

    But Jesse still has a ways to go. He bought the global warming scam hook, line, and sinker. He still thinks there are bad, old Islamic terrorists out there waiting to kill us in our sleep. He hasn't yet figured out that the terrorists are the Establishment. He hasn't seen their global, long term agenda: global enslavement and depopulation of the planet by 80%. It's hard for regular people, let alone one conditioned by military training, to see our government as anything other than a benevolent father. Wake up, America! The Forth Reich has arrived, it is here in the USA, and we are the new jews. They already have camps for us, did you know?

    Hang in there, Jesse. Keep doing your research. You'll see the evil in its full glory soon. I just hope you live to see it. God help us all.

    ...more info
  • Put your money where your mouth is!
    Unfortunately Jesse is too little too late. The Revolution HAS already started a year ago: "The Ron Paul Revolution". If Mr ex-Governor Ventura would've come back to the real world a few months ago and join forces with us, WE the People might have had a fighting chance with a very prime third party. But like he said on Larry King: It's too late to get on ballots now. Could you imagine the money bomb for this party: Paul/Ventura 2008????? ...more info
  • AWESOME!!!
    I heard him on Howard Stern and I wanted to read the book since that is what he was talking about. It is great. Best book that I have read all year. He talks about his life and his views on politics which I agree with everything he has to say on it. GIVE IT A READ, ITS REALLY GOOD!...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
  • 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
  • 95% agreeable
    Jesse, you're right about almost everything except immigration.
    Illegal immigration is destroying the U.S. and legal immigration must be lowered if not ended completely...especially from the 3rd world.
    Everything else I agreed with. You're almost up to par...keep researching the truth behind the invasion of our nation....more info
  • Entertaining and thought-provoking read
    I highly recommend this book. Jesse tells an entertaining story of his life, mixed with thought-provoking commentary on our political system and government....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
  • Some great points raised, but very hypocritical at times.
    There are several things that you can take away from Jesse Ventura and find honorable, not just from this book, but from his life. He was active duty in the navy during Vietnam, he became governor of a state as third party, (something that is near impossible) and he has always been a true independent which is truly rare at this current point in history. He brings up some great points in this book on where the country is, and where it is headed. Civil liberties are being erased, we are in a massive debt, and the expansion of the federal government is getting out of control. However he loses credibility when he writes of his meeting with Castro, and how he admires Castro and Che. If you don't like where America is headed, you only need to look at Cuba to see a country with no civil liberties, no economic freedom, and a nation who has tortured critics of the government, and forced thousands to flee. Even if you are in the dark, and don't believe Castro is a tyrant, there is no way, you can argue he is for less government, something that Ventura claims to support himself. This government is full of liars, as we have definitely seen, but when you put all this trust in a lying murderer as Ventura does with Castro, it waters down and hurts the good points, and real criticism of our country that should be addressed. ...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
  • The Governor & Me
    "Don't Start the Revolutioon Without Me" by Jesse Ventura: finally a politician with views and ideas that I agree with. He makes so much common sense with his views that it makes me angry I have to choose from one of the other three Presidential candidates. After reading this book I would vote for him for President if he would run.

    James...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
  • Jesse Speaks Truth to Power
    None of our hallowed institutions are safe from the bold and patriotic criticism of Jesse Ventura. And none are sacred unless they deserve to be. While you wait for one to come to mind, do your political soul some good and read this man's new book. I found myself cheering over the author's unique wit as he pulled no punches in detailing the recent criminal escapades of our government. He gives them the hell they deserve.

    The book is a first-class page turner, romping through the real-life and political experiences of the former Governor of Minnesota who, at heart, relates well to the working class hero. As one who seems to pull for the underdog, he attempted to change things in Minnesota and that usually creates discomfort for people who don't understand the need for change. Hence, he received lots of criticism. But you've gotta love him for being his own man saying what he knows to be the truth.

    Of course, the idea of a Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura 2008 Presidential ticket has been mentioned. I'm not sure that either man would agree, but this just seems like an America-saving ticket to me, as both are excellent at articulating the core problems to the people and speaking vital truth to power. If there were ever two books that every voter should read and pass around it's this one, and Ron Paul's THE REVOLUTION, A MANIFESTO.

    Jesse, please come back and do it! We need someone with huevos man!

    PS - Another Amazon book recommendation: 9-11 CONTRADICTIONS: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press, by David Ray Griffin.
    They did it, we know it....more info
  • Don't Start the Revolution Without Me
    "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!" (DSTHWM)is the first book I read that was written about Jesse Ventura. As a former Reform Party follower (I was in my mid 20's in 1996)and Libertarian "lightweight", I thought it would be a great read, as clearly I am and have been for sometime, weary and leary of the overextension of our federal government. As an active member of the Ron Paul "rEVOLution", I greatly anticipated what Ventura has to say about the Revolution. Leading up to this read, I have been watching John Adam on HBO, reading Ron Paul's "A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship".

    The first thing I noticed is that DSTRWM is an easy to read page turner that reads like a story. I have not read a book this easily in months. Venura and Russell have an easy style that relates to everyday people. I too found the number of typos and publishing errors noteworthy.

    The stories about his experiences were very entertaining. They served as validation of the corruption and problems and the source of that validation was from a person that seems like me. As a fed-up citizen from the outside of the political machine, he was able to break through and get into the game and experience first hand, the disease that permeates our governemnt. His lack of political correctness is refreshing, in a sense, almost seeming as to cast aside politics in an effort to simply get to the proper solution.

    Yet, the further I got into the book, I felt a building crescendo, and I was anticipating more. I wanted more of a rallying call than what was made. Of course, I know that my fervor coming off of the Ron Paul Revolution has me holding greater expectations than the average guy, so I have to be fair with Ventura in that I know he delivered the message.

    DSTRWM is a great read for every American who wishes they could have a better government. It may compel them to quit wishing and to start to look for a way to get involved with an alternative to the Republican and Democrats. I think that is what I may have felt was lacking - more of a push from Jesse to tell the reader to wake up and get involved. He definitely covered it and spoke about apathy amongst the people - yet I didn't feel like he wanted to throw me on his proven shoulders and say "Come with me and let's do this!"

    That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. He came across as thoughtful, smart, entertaining, and quite honestly sardonic. I have a greater appreciation now for Jesse Ventura and would like to see him and his wife Terry find a way to cope with their innate desire to help Americans shape up their federal governement through higher levels of elected service.

    I would serve in the revolution any day with Jesse Ventura. If you can get a copy, scoop it up and read it. It will whet your appetite to get involved in the sad state of American federal government with hopes that you won't be alone in doing so, so that you can feel like you actually have a chance to make a difference.

    ...more info
  • Don't Start Anything With Me
    To sum up this book, the best thing Jesse did for the country was move to Mexico. The best thing he can do for the country right now is stay in Mexico.

    This book is written by a person who just wants to pat himself on the back and talk all the great things he did and all the things he knows better than everyone else. By the way Jesse, independent means that you don't support either party or at least don't gush over one of them. It seems that Jesse cannot stop trashing the Republicans both in their agenda and in their individual personalities, while admiring the Democrats (Bush bad Clinton great). Guess what Jesse, that makes you a left of center democrat or essentialy a main stream Democrat.

    By the way, I wonder how many books Jesse would have sold if the front cover of this book would of had the picture of his Fu-Manchu beard and not the clean cut version that is used. I would hazzard to guess not many. Its funny for a guy that keeps talking about being true to ones belief and being yourself, he cleaned up his image to sell himself and his book pretty quickly. It just goes to show that Jesse knows how to play the game just as well as those he likes to put down.
    ...more info
  • The REAL DEAL !
    If you only read one book this year make it this one! I agree with Jesse on all issues. The democrates , and republicans sold us Americans out a very long time ago. Different sides of the same coin.
    The biggest threat to our country is the control of our major media. It's time to wake up America!
    The unfederal no reserve bank (FACT) is driving our country into the dirt!!
    Plus the lies of 9/11 are an outrage! I don't want to try and convince anyone, just look and decide for yourself.
    Most will say Holy s**T! but what can i do?
    PASS IT ON !
    Jesse Ventura would make one hell of a good president! He would have my vote!
    ...more info
  • True Patriot
    This man is a true rough around the edges guy who has been serving his country since his youth, like his family. He is a rough and tumble guy who will tell you like it is with no sugar coating, excess calories nor fat and this comes too much for some to handle. He has risked his life serving his country in numerous ways and in his Epilogue shows what could happen. I really admire this countryman in his long legacy of non-conventionality ... which is not unlike our founding fathers. He has the guts to spill the required patriotic blood for our tree of liberty and the very least everyone could do is read just 300 pages. ...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
  • Welcome back Jesse
    Being an independent voter, Jesse Ventura appeals to me in many ways. I'm so sick of the same political propaganda and rhetoric. Mr. Ventura isn't afraid to be politically incorrect, and as you will see in this book, he pulls no punches. It's so refreshing to see a former governor - whom, whether you agree with his viewpoints or not - is willing to step on toes and lay it all on the line. I respect Jesse and found the book to be a very informative and enjoyable read (especially the Cuba trip.) Our country needs more people like Jesse Ventura in politics, rather than the self-serving, cookie cutter politicians who are more concerned with keeping a career, than in doing what's best for the American people. ...more info