JESSE VENTURA TELLS IT LIKE IT IS: America's Most Outspoken Governor Speaks Out About Government

Jesse Ventura, Author , with Herón Márquez. Lerner $15.95 (64p) ISBN 0-8225-0385-9

One of America's most flamboyant politicians, Jesse Ventura—former Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, actor, radio talk show host and now Minnesota governor—takes an informal look at government. Beginning with a brief history of Ventura's own unlikely path to politics (he ran for mayor of his hometown to prevent a development project that threatened the wetlands), the volume then traces the roots of U.S. government. The narrative is strongest when Ventura discusses his own experience in politics and his community. Much of the charm lies in the author's self-aware tone (in describing his own first election, he says, "I didn't change my personality. I was still loud, still opinionated, still the same person they heard on the radio"). However, as Ventura addresses such topics as the Constitution and the structure of local, state and federal governments, some of the explanations become simplistic (e.g., "The federal government rules because the Constitution says so"). Throughout, Ventura returns to a favorite theme—the importance of involving young people in the political process—and devotes a final section to "What Can Kids Do?" Abundant photographs and a style as casual as the jeans-wearing author himself keep the presentation lively, while informative sidebars touch on such topics as voter requirements, suffrage and special-interest groups. Whether or not young readers agree with the outspoken Ventura's political opinions (easily identifiable by such qualifiers as "in my view"), they will discover here a concise and accessible introduction to politics and government. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/17/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
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