This is a vivid, incisive account of Governor Schwarzenegger and his tenure in California politics, by the "Los Angeles Times" political reporter whose unique access and insight into Arnold has led to news-breaking revelations. Over the past twenty five years, the twin arts of direct democracy (through ballot initiatives designed to push the public to the polls on Election Day) and blockbuster moviemaking (through movies designed to push the public into cinemas) grew up together in California. In 2003, direct democracy and blockbuster movies finally merged with the election of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In "The People's Machine", political reporter Joe Mathews, who covered Schwarzenegger's election campaign for "The LA Times" and who has subsequently broken many front page stories about him, traces the roots of both movie and political populism, how Schwarzenegger used these twin forces to win election and, especially, how he has used them to govern. "Let the people decide", said Governor Schwarzenegger after his inauguration. "The People's Machine", through remarkable access and analysis - there is news in this book - reports on whether this system of governing proves blessing, curse or mess, and on the extraordinary Austrian bodybuilder, movie star and political man with the nerve to carry it out.