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Outsider in the White House

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,478 ratings  ·  218 reviews
The political autobiography of the insurgent presidential candidate

Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the presidency of the United States has galvanized people all over the country, putting economic, racial, and social justice into the spotlight, and raising hopes that Americans can take their country back from the billionaires and change the course of history.

In this book, S
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Verso (first published June 1997)
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George Briggs
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Revolution Has Begun!

The interest in Bernie Sander's run for the presidency just might motivate the 50% of voters who don't vote and feel alienated . Senator Sanders sees the American democracy becoming an oligarchy controlled by the 1% who control the media, caused the meltdown in 2008, pay little or no taxes, export jobs overseas, and are quick to cut every social program in the process. Change can take place if American voters demand it by getting 80-90% participation in elections .
Scott Rhee
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Outsider in the [White] House”, Bernie Sanders’s autobiographical democratic socialist/progressive platform book, was originally published in 1997 under the title “Outsider in the House”. At the time, Sanders was Congressman at-large for the state of Vermont. He would serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years before being elected to Senate in 2006. He has the distinction of being the longest-serving Independent in congressional history. The book was written long before the thought ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Sanders’s bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination has been an inspiration to progressives across America. As the only genuine alternative to the pseudo-liberal policies of Hillary Clinton, Bernie speaks openly about the scourge of socioeconomic inequality, big money’s influence in politics, the threat of climate change, the excesses of Wall Street, corporate oligarchy, racial discrimination, and gerrymandering––all factors contributing to the tenuous state of American democrac ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very unpolished -just like Bernie himself. The arc follows Bernie's tough re-election for Congress early in his career - during the 92 election. It was the height of the Gingrich years and there were a lot of people eager to knock this socialist out of the House of Representatives.
Thankfully, they failed and the rest is history.
Throughout this book, which Bernie wrote mostly first person, he tells some about himself, his upbringing, his earlier political career, his personal life an
This is the autobiography of the tireless crusader, the senator from Vermont and decades-long leader of the Progressive Caucus in US Congress, erstwhile presidential candidate and currently polling as the most popular politician in the US, Bernie Sanders. This was originally written in 1996, and only lightly updated with regards to his presidential campaign in the last 50 pages and the preface of the book. The bulk of the book focuses on his mayoral and congressional tenure, and the campaigns he ...more
Robyn Dexter
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm so happy I read this. This book is a wonderful glimpse into how Bernie became the man he is today and how he got into politics. It wasn't too over-my-head (which I feared going into it). I would recommend it to both Bernie fans AND otherwise. Even just as a person, he's fascinating. ...more
Cindy Matthews
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They say the mark of integrity in a man is consistency. Bernie Sanders is the world's most consistent man.

It's 1996 and Bernie Sanders is running for Congress for a fifth time, but this time it's different. The Republicans are out for blood. Bernie has been making waves in Washington standing up for ordinary citizens, and the Republicans feel they must end this precedent of an Independent Congressman with progressive ideals. They throw millions of dollars at his Republican opponent Susan Sweetse
Erik Graff
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: US voters
Recommended to Erik by: Chelsea Rectanus
I started this by reading it aloud with the owner of Chicago's Heirloom Books, finished it quickly by myself in order to have it available for sale before the Christmas holiday. Originally an account of his years as socialist mayor of Burlington, then Vermont congressman, this edition was updated with additional essays in 2015 though the historical account ends in 1997, the original date of publication.

Although some of the material was familiar, me having followed Bernie since he keynoted the So
Ron Turner
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The format's really weird. Jumping between the past, a tough House race he had in 1996 and the present, which in this case was when the original book came out in 1998. The only thing new is a brief afterword at the end mentioning Bernie's move to the Senate and how he gained fame for giving an eight hour speech against the bipartisan bailout of Wall Street.

Despite the oddball editing, it's still a great read. History has very much vindicated him. Everything he said twenty years ago has come true
Moses Hetfield
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: democratic primary voters
Recommended to Moses by: Senator Bernie Sanders
Sanders' political autobiography details his rise against all odds from obscurity to national prominence as a democratic socialist in a rural state that was the most consistently Republican-voting in the nation. His story is an inspiring one and is told in a manner that makes for very easy, light reading. I appreciate that he admits on the front cover that it was co-written with a friend, rather than trying to take credit for a ghostwriter's work, another piece of evidence that the honesty he is ...more
Mary Ann
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a former resident of Vermont, I am familiar with Bernie Sanders, former mayor of Burlington, a small city in Vermont with its own foreign policy. A fascinating look at how Democratic Socialism can work, and work well. Yay! Bernie rocks and totally should be president!!
Gary Miller
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political junkies
A book by one of my favorite members of Congress. Michael Moore says, “The only true voice of opposition in Congress”.

Sanders gives the reader a history of his political elections from first being elected mayor of a small town in Vermont (Burlington) to becoming a member of Congress. The book was published in 1997 before he was elected to the US Senate. He also provides the reader with much of his political philosophy. Not only every page, but every paragraph has fascinating facts and wisdom. I
Bernie's politics? I'd give 'em 5 stars. When I picked this book up at my local library, I didn't realize it was a reprint of something he wrote back in 1997. But in a way, that made this book even more refreshing to me. Because his message HAS NOT CHANGED. Nineteen years, and I couldn't find a flip-flop? Insert a surprised-face emoji here! (But in a way, it was also tragic because it also meant that not much has changed in nineteen years. Or it's gotten worse, will get worse...but that's for a ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this book if you want to know what Bernie stands for. It is the tale of his early political life. However, because he has been so consistent in his beliefs and actions throughout his career, the book can be used to understand what he stands for today. It is also helpful that the afterward brings the story up to his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

I still would like to know more about him personally, but I will have to look to another source for that.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this book would be boring. It wasn't—was actually very inspiring. I believe it may have increased my Bernie bro-ity ex post facto by at least 60%. It also reignited and was constantly stoking my burning anger at the dishonest liberal criticisms that were leveled at him by Clinton campaign and Clinton supporters throughout the primary. ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: resist
Danny Kaye: "I don't know. It should be something unusual, some kind of novelty that..."

Bing Crosby: "Well tell me, what do you think would be a novelty up here in Vermont?"

Danny Kaye: "Who knows? Maybe we can dig up a Democrat."

Maybe a lot has changed in Vermont since "White Christmas" came out in 1954, or maybe Bernie just has that special something, that special little secret that all the beltway types are clamoring for: Integrity. One of Bernie's biggest strengths, in my view, is his abili
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a couple of people from both sides of the political aisle mentioned in recent weeks that they thought Bernie Sander’s memoir was one of the better they had read and a nice glimpse into the realities of the political and electoral process, I picked up the recently updated edition.

So. Outsider in the White House is kind of a depressing read.

Shortly before Jon Stewart wrapped up his time on The Daily Show, he did a segment on how, if he’s so powerful, why has nothing changed and how, if anyt
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bernie followers
This was an account Bernie Sanders wrote with someone about a few of his campaign races in Vermont. The final chapter is written by the other person who basically catches you up on what he has done since winning the campaign that was the focus of the book.

One of Bernie's secrets is that he constantly went back to the state he represented, Vermont, and LISTENED to them. He held many educational seminars and was especially proud of one he held for seniors and that they were carefully taking notes
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bernie fans and skeptics
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
I feel the Bern. And as if I didn't need anything to help me love Senator Bernie Sanders any more, this book did just that. I enjoyed the fact I could hear Bernie speak the words I was reading in my mind, and it felt like he was talking just to me. I was excited to learn more about his past record (especially since this edition was originally written years ago when he first got into the House of Representatives) as the book really focused on his victories, large and small, earlier in his career ...more
Jamie King
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-campaign
A very candid sharing of the perception from a totally misaligned r type. It would be easy to ascribe the actions boasted about as evil braggadocio without fully appreciating the completely apparent lacking of any amygdala.

it's like it's not even there. the narrative so rapidly jumps around chronologically and through random rants it's like chasing down the sick liberal mind that runs at a mile a minute never focusing on a point or really resolving anything

it is funny up until the point that it
Riley Gardner
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to describe this novel. It's incredibly inspirational and continues the remarkable trend of Bernie Sanders. His words are beyond compelling, making me see other people is such a light and way I didn't know I was missing. I always had agreement with similar policies but never could put it into words.

The government is not a scary, distant monster we should be fearing. We are reminded that WE are the government, and if we stand together and demand a better life we can come together and m
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is unpolished and the format is confusing as Sanders switches between telling the story of his early political career and of a particularly difficult race for the Senate.

While I did not enjoy the format, I did enjoy experiencing Bernie's straight-forward message that has not changed over the years. I like the fact that he cares about the lives of regular Americans and believes in income equality and social justice. He also believes in diplomacy over war and violence. Oh, and the refus
Sean Estelle
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone that needs some juice for the Bernie 2020 campaign should take some time to read this - also especially if you’re on the fence about who to vote for in the primary in your state! This autobio is specifically focused on Bernie’s political campaigns, so it really digs in to how he arrived at his politics and how consistent they’ve been since the 1960’s (as well as how he’s stayed in office since 1981, which is no small feat). If you love Bernie, you’ll learn new tidbits; if you don’t yet lo ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
if this guy was to become POTUS, and received a small portion of support from Congress (I know, two impossible dreams) then I truly believe he could change the US of A into something much greater and stronger than it is currently. He could help revive a country that looks more like every plant I've ever tried to take care of, than a blooming garden of dreams and successes. he is much more qualified and sensible than the orange-faced sack of shit we're likely to be saddled with soon. ...more
Derek Ouyang
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Received this book in the mail after donating to his campaign. An refreshingly honest read for someone who wasn't really interested in politics to begin with, before hearing about Bernie. Now I'm clearer now only about what he stands for, but what I believe in -- and I suppose that's the point in his campaign, and why, even if he doesn't get the nomination, every vote he gets matters. ...more
Linda Cowles
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What I enjoy and appreciate most about Bernie Sanders books, particularly this one, are that he explains how to succeed in political office if you're an outsider....

I love his honesty and candor, sharing mistakes and how he engineered his methods to make the most of a bad situation. Brilliant man.

I have the audiobook as well, and it's well read but not by him.
I have mixed feelings on this one. I love Bernie, so I obviously loved the political ideology this book expressed, but the writing wasn't too great. It switched between past and present tenses and skipped around in the timeline quite a bit, so there were times that I got confused. All in all, though, I'd say this is definitely an interesting read whether you're a supporter of Bernie or not. ...more
Julia Luckett
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
An inspiring story that focuses on the biggest issues of our time and gives hope to how we can move forward and make positive changes. Great to read about Bernie's consistent vision for America. Feel the Bern! ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I challenge anybody to read this and not support him for President. But you need to actually read it. Not skim a chapter, then extrapolate your own viewpoints and postulate. Do the work before forming an opinion. I dare you.
Ginny Hanson
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing

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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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