Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class” as Want to Read:
The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  514 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
On Friday, 12/10/2010, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders walked on to the floor of the US Senate & began speaking. It turned out to be a very long speech, lasting over eight & a half hours. It hit a nerve. Millions followed the speech online until the traffic crashed the Senate server. A huge, positive grassroots response tied up the phones in the senator's offices in ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Nation Books (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Speech, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Speech

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi KleinA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnNickel and Dimed by Barbara EhrenreichTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Ecological Rift by John Bellamy Foster
Best Progressive Reads
48th out of 491 books — 366 voters
Outsider in the White House by Bernie SandersThe Speech by Bernie SandersHard Choices by Hillary Rodham ClintonA Time for Truth  by Ted CruzAn American Son by Marco Rubio
2016 Presidential Candidates, USA
2nd out of 80 books — 31 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,015)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 07, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it
Shelves: americana, politics
Greed, in my view, is like a sickness. It is like an addiction.

Say what you will, this presidential race has been, at the very least, an intensely interesting affair. Of course, there is the debacle of the Republican primaries; but those are mainly interesting in the same way that a car accident is interesting—you can’t help but rubberneck, even if you’re a bit disgusted with yourself for doing so. Much more engrossing, for me, has been the rise of Bernie Sanders, something which seems to have
Scott Rhee
Apr 27, 2016 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it
The filibuster is a powerful legislative tool which can be very effective, especially in old movies when used by Jimmy Stewart. On December 10, 2010, Mr. Smith---in this case, Mr. Bernie Sanders---went to Washington and gave a seven-hour long speech on the Senate floor to persuade voting members to not approve a tax bill agreed upon by President Obama and the Republican leadership. The filibuster failed, as the tax bill was passed into law, but Sanders got his points across, and the speech has b ...more
Bradley Jarvis
Nov 26, 2011 Bradley Jarvis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Bradley by: Debbie Jarvis
During the height of last year's debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in opposition for several hours on the Senate floor. During his speech, reproduced (with minor editing) in this book, Sanders laid out the many problems with the agreement between President Obama and Senate Republicans which ultimately - and unfortunately - became law.

The speech was, more than anything, an indictment of how greed and corruption have rui
Richard Sahn
Jan 18, 2012 Richard Sahn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
A must read for young people trying to form political opinions. He pulls no punches in exposing the hypocrisy, greed, and corruption of his colleagues in Congress. This book makes readers aware of what they're not getting from mainstream media and pundits—in fact, just the opposite. Sanders is fiercely critical of politics as usual.
Feb 17, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Bernie Sanders is a hero and an inspiration for the incredible work and time and energy he put into his efforts to halt the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. In this amazing filibuster he repeatedly calls on the American people to take action and let their Senators and representatives know that in this age of crumbling infrastructure, rampant child poverty, joblessness and homelessness they do not think it is necessary or wise to extend tax breaks to the multimillionaires and billionaires of t ...more
Feb 13, 2016 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
let me also say there is no doubt in my mind what many—not all but many—of my republican colleagues want to do; that is, they want to move this country back into the 1920s when essentially we had an economic and political system which was controlled by big money interests; where working people and the middle class had no programs to sustain them when things got bad, when they got old, and when they got sick; when labor unions were very hard to come by because of antiworker legislation. that is
Jan 22, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
Longest-standing Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders shown light on the curtained-off greed in politics. In this eye-opening speech, Sanders denounces the tax agreement being worked out between President Obama and the Republican leadership. He speaks out against the entrenched corporate interests on behalf of the poor, working and middle class. During the course of this speech which lasted for over eight and a half hours, Sanders criticizes continuing tax cuts for multi-millionaires ...more
Taylor Trauger
Mar 16, 2016 Taylor Trauger rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read, and it shows how hard Bernie has been fighting against wealth and income inequality and corporate greed for the people of this country, particularly the disappearing middle class. On December 10, 2010 Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for eight and a half hours to filibuster the tax agreement between President Obama and Republican leaders (that eventually, unfortunately, did pass). He not only brings attention to the problems with the agreement—lowering the estate tax and e ...more
Thyme Wisper
Mar 10, 2015 Thyme Wisper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I have seen more and more quotes from this senator being shared in Facebook. What he consistently said in those quotes came across to me as honest, practical, factual and were insights or opinion on a specific issue. No partisan bullets. No extreme political biting remarks. I know this seems like a contradiction in terms, but he comes across with rational emotion. He cares about the people of this nation, that is clear. And he obviously (and to me, uniquely) reads the bills that come up for a vo ...more
Chad Dennis
Jan 04, 2015 Chad Dennis rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of books in my time and this one is just amazing. My favorite part is when Bernie reads aloud the personal stories of Americans that are struggling. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that he repeated a lot of things (but then again they were worth repeating when he gave the speech). I can personally relate to other Americans who wrote Bernie. If you're interested in where this country is headed, I highly recommend this book.
Biases out front: I love Bernie Sanders. I gave him two campaign contributions and voted for him in the Kentucky Democratic primary. I agree with his political philosophy and with what he had to say during the campaign and in the speech that comprises this book.

Before I tackle the book, my rating of it is based on the question: Since we're on Goodreads, do I consider this a good read? I'm saying, not necessarily.

The namesake speech of this book is actually a filibuster by Bernie opposing the 201
Dec 22, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
I discovered, perhaps later than most, that this speech by Bernie Sanders, delivered on the Senate floor in 2010, is what initially elevated Sanders to the national spotlight. In his speech, Bernie Sanders lists reasons for his opposition to the 2010 Senate Bill extending Bush-era tax cuts. More importantly, I think this speech can also be read as an introduction to Bernie Sanders' political philosophy. In his speech, Bernie Sanders discusses reasons why the middle class is deteriorating, why th ...more
May 05, 2011 Don rated it really liked it
The book, less the introduction, is simply a transcript of the speech (hence the title) that Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) gave on the Senate floor on December 10, 2010. It was an old-fashioned filibuster, like Jimmy Stewart in "Mr Smith Goes to Washington," except that all of the speech included actual political commentary content, as opposed to simply reading the phone book. Senator Sanders' speech was in protest against the deal that the President had reached with Republicans that extended ...more
Feb 23, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
“I would like very much to see the American people saying to our Republican colleagues and some Democratic colleagues: Excuse me. Don't force my kids to have a lower standard of living in order to give tax breaks to the richest people. What the President and all of us should be doing is going out and saying to those people: Call the Members of the Senate, call the Members of the House and say: Excuse me. How about representing the middle class and working families, for a change, rather than the
This pretty much took me a month to read! That was because I was reading bits and pieces at a time. However, I read the entire book and it was amazing! Let me admit something right now: this book is not the best written item I've ever read. For one thing, it was a speech, not originally a written book. The strengths of a speech are different from a written book and it does not necessarily travel well from one format to another. Also, deliberately, the speech is repetitive. Senator Sanders assume ...more
Aug 06, 2015 Dactyl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to everyone; of all peer groups. Though political, this publication is fairly non-partisan. The topics addressed within affect everybody residing in the USA and to a degree, everybody living in the modern world.

The picture Senator Sanders paints is that of a sinking ship, that we are all on, and it's on fire.. And the people with all the money and power are laughing as they retreat safely in their private jets and yachts , while everything crashes around them.

Avalon Radys
Mar 16, 2016 Avalon Radys rated it it was amazing
I'm still holding out for the Bern.
Aug 03, 2016 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Something I wrote a while ago ...

Americans are not naturally a nation of people who are socialism phobias. Propaganda from Red Scare era, McCarthy era, and Cold War era had influenced the minds of average Americans so deeply that socialism has become a synonym for communism and totalitarianism. But Americans are getting younger, time has washed the stains of socialism fainter and fainter. For millennials, Cold War is only the history learned from books not a personal experience - the thrill of t
Pascal Lapointe
Le 10 décembre 2010, le sénateur indépendant du Vermont Bernie Sanders, s’avançait à la tribune du Sénat pour un discours qui allait durer... 8 heures et demi. C’était sa façon de protester contre une entente entre le président Obama et les élus républicains, qu’il jugeait profondément inéquitable —sauf pour la petite fraction des super-riches.

Sauf que, au contraire de ces élus prennent le micro pendant des heures et lisent la bible ou l’annuaire téléphonique, Sanders a tenu un vrai discours, s
Jul 17, 2015 J.M. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: So-called conservatives
An extraordinarily important and perceptive speech about where we are as a country, the corrosive effects of corporate power, and how we can do much better. Of course he's repetitious over the span of an 8-hour filibuster, and long-winded in places where a concise turn of phrase would be more effective. But the combination of disheartening statistics and real-life stories of hardship is powerful.

Pair with America: What Went Wrong? which more or less predicted, 20 years ago, most of the problems
Sawyer Donk
Oct 24, 2014 Sawyer Donk rated it really liked it
Absolutely fantastic. Be warned, it is repetitious, though I feel it definitely helps with retintion of some very serious issues currently facing our country. He very much cares about the average middle-class citizen, and with that ferocious amount of attention and care, he has inspired me to take part in the responsibility of helping our nation. This book needs to be read by every American.

I love Bernie, he'll be getting my vote should he decide to run in 2016.
Joshua Thornton
Aug 05, 2015 Joshua Thornton rated it really liked it
Shelves: chelton-books
The Speech is very repetitive, yet, is still oddly relevant in light of the 2016 presidential election. Even though this speech was given almost 5 full years ago, Bernie's filibuster is consistent with his current platform. I wouldn't recommend this book to a friend wanting an introduction to Bernie and his philosophy, but it is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in contemporary politics or Bernie Sanders as a whole.
Oct 24, 2015 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
SUPER repetitive! As it was written word for word from a prior speech, I suppose you're not supposed to edit anything. However, the book could've been 1/3 the length and still probably repeat itself.

It was OK. Made some good suggestions, but not enough data to backup the charges suggested. On the surface the idea are sound, but I'd like to see more research of HOW.
Jennifer Napolitano
Jan 10, 2016 Jennifer Napolitano rated it it was ok
I love Bernie Sanders, and his message, but I didn't love this book. It is the text of an 8 1/2 hour speech that Sanders gave to Congress, in which he repeats himself over and over in case people were just coming in. I already knew most of what he had to say, just from reading news articles about him and watching the debates. I probably only finished it because it was my first book in a book-challenge I am participating in.
Oct 26, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
I read this book to learn and understand more about the decline of the middle class and better equip myself with facts and knowledge and lean less on sole conviction. Bernie's speech will enlighten you; not just on how the middle class is being affected but by the dirty politics that is happening in the Beltway that we thought only happened on House of Cards.
Feb 24, 2016 erinthedreamer rated it liked it
I'm a Bernie Sanders fan and I enjoyed reading this, but it's not something I would really recommend unless you're a huge fan. The speech is a transcript of his filibuster, which means that's it's really repetitive and not the most eloquent. It's interesting, but you end up reading the same thing over and over. There are easier ways to learn about what Bernie Sanders stands for.
Feb 12, 2016 Saadia rated it really liked it
This is the book that first made me a fan of Bernie's. In his characteristic style, he gives a passionate and in-depth look at a bill that he sees as worsening the economic prospects of middle-class America. It is repetitive because it is an 8-hour filibuster, but the repetition can also be very strong in how it drives home certain points that he does not want you to forget. And I can say that over a year later I have not forgotten what I read in this book.
Oct 11, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it
While I pretty much fully agree with the views presented and am appalled at this country in general because of the stuff presented in this book, it loses a star because of the repetition. But it only loses a star because it presents itself as just what it is, repetitious because it's a speech, not meant to be a book. And the reader is forewarned in the intro. But being that it is read as a book, the repetition is a bit distracting at times. Man I hope this guy becomes the next president.
Oct 07, 2015 Talia rated it liked it
"The Speech" was a very informing and interesting book discussing corporate greed and the decline of the middle class in this country. The topic of the book was intriguing, but I found myself struggling to read the rest of it during the end. It was very repeptetive, and most of the information and drama was concentrated towards the beginning. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Sanders' far-left political views, and anyone with a lot of time to read such a repetetive book.
Daniel Parker
Had seen this mentioned in a couple of places and came across a copy at the library. This is a printed version of the hours long speech Senator Sanders gave a couple of years back against a compromise bill by the White House and Republicans. The book has some redundancy because he knew people would be tunining in at different hours on CSPAN. Yet the duplication does help the reader solidify the facts and thoughts that Senator Sanders is sharing. He makes a good case for what is now discussed eve ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 67 68 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America
  • Conscience Of A Liberal: Reclaiming The Compassionate Agenda
  • The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
  • Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture
  • Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right
  • Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy
  • The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis
  • Rebuild the Dream
  • A History of the World Since 9/11: Disaster, Deception, and Destruction in the War on Terror
  • Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism
  • Climate War
  • Pitchforks and Torches: The Worst of the Worst, from Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin and Other Posturing Republicans
  • Moyers on Democracy
  • The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise
  • Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics
  • Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches
  • Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is the junior United States Senator from Vermont, elected on November 7, 2006. Before becoming Senator, Sanders represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives for 16 years. Sanders also served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981 through 1989.
More about Bernie Sanders...

Share This Book

“You can’t become a billionaire stepping over children sleeping on the street.” 22 likes
“The rich and large corporations get richer, the CEOs earn huge compensation packages, and when things get bad, don't worry; Uncle Sam and the American taxpayers are here to bail you out. But when you are in trouble, well, we just can't afford to help you, if you are in the working class or middle class of this country.” 15 likes
More quotes…