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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  823 ratings  ·  103 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 Vermont ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Nation Books (first published 2010)
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 ·  823 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Start your review of The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class
Roy Lotz
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ha
Bradley Jarvis
Nov 26, 2011 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 10, 2012 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. ...more
Jan 04, 2012 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 11, 2016 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 i
Scott Rhee
Jan 11, 2016 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
Dec 29, 2011 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
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
Taylor T
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
Feb 22, 2015 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 01, 2015 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. ...more
Avalon Radys
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm still holding out for the Bern. ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-4-stars
Good core ideas established all the way back in 2010.

You should watch the 8 hour video sometime.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
The significance of this speech was more in the act of giving it than in the speech itself, which isn't really worth reading today unless you're writing books about Bernie (which is why I read it, heh). ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics-society
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
Oct 22, 2015 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
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, political
In 2010, Senator Bernie Sanders spent several hours railing against a bill that would provide tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, while job creation was stagnant, the country's infrastructure was crumbling, and the average citizen was working longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits.

Since he spoke for several hours, some of his argument can become repetitive, but this is an excellent crash course for understanding Sanders' socio-economic philosophies and, even if you have an opposing vi
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I got a sense of nonplussed wonder seeing how this book did not stretch longer than 255 pages. How did this demagogue manage to fit his "historic filibuster" in so short a book? What do these words even mean any more?

I have read Greek and Latin oratory of much longer duration with Prof. Rosso at my alma mater West Chester University, at Bryn Mawr, at Harvard, and at the University of Pennsylvania. Cicero! Herodotus! Demosthenes! Maybe the current atmosphere has become too polluted to accommodat
Mason Wyss
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Speech is an incredibly helpful and great companion to the C-SPAN video of Senator Sanders’s filibuster. The book clears up some of Sanders’s speech and corrects and adjusts some figures and statistics he gave to more accurately reflect reality. However, sometimes the book does misquote him and in doing so changes the meaning slightly of what he said. Because of this, and because of the numerous graphs and charts Senator Sanders uses, it is best to read the book with the video playing nearby ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a tricky review. Is the book a good read? Not particularly. It's format - the transcription of a filibuster - means it is repetitive, meandering, and suffers from Bernie not being able to explore ideas as fully as they would benefit from

Is it a good rallying cry? Yes?

Is it a good demonstration of the credentials and for the politics of Bernie Sanders? Yes

Is it a damning indictment of Republican politics, with its inherent desire to strip taxes, prioritise the wealthy over the rest of us,
Rebecca Gordon
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this book immediately following the Crazy Rich Asians series: an interesting juxtaposition. As other reviewers (and Bernie himself) said, this book is very repetitive which I feel kind of typifies Bernie. I agree with just about everything he says but, as in following him on social media, he sounds a bit like a broken record and it gets tiring (and depressing given the state our country has moved into since this speech). Overall, the book contains important concepts that i wish people wer ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bernie Sanders is a long distance runner for justice. He has been consistent and unwavering with his message. The champion of the middle class and standing up for the little guy has bee his mantra his entire life. This is a testament to just that, 8.5 hours of an unintended filibuster, this speech launches him for the first time into the public eye and sets the stage for his presidential runs. It is repetitive and outdated which is why I take away a star.
Jacob Harris
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm definitely a Bernie fan. I read this during the primaries and if you're familiar with his politics, it'll just be repetitive for you. It's a transcription of an eight plus hour speech he gave to congress that garnered a lot of media attention. It was a good and quick read. ...more
Matt Stearns
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I respect Bernie's passion, but this was meant as a filibuster speech, not a book and is not very readable. Large portions of it are redundant and certain speech oddities are sprinkled throughout. ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty repetitive (as it was a filibuster) but I love Bernie's voice and dogged push towards a more just world. ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is better as a speech than a book--quite repetitive.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for our time. This speech really lays out what the problems of the US have been since the Reagan era.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great transcript of Bernies 2011 Filibuster on the floor of the Senate. It is cyclical in nature, but empowering and persuasive.
Alex Clarke
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book every American needs to read.
Amolina Bhat
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
should be a bipartisan issue but alas, super PACS... we are screwed
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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

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“You can’t become a billionaire stepping over children sleeping on the street.” 46 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.” 29 likes
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