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Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

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Throughout the Presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders galvanized voters with his progressive platform and vision for America. In the book, Sanders shares experiences from the campaign trail and outlines his ideas for continuing a political revolution to fight for a progressive economic, environmental, racial and social justice agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all.

449 pages, Hardcover

First published November 15, 2016

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About the author

Bernie Sanders

37 books1,025 followers
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.

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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 2 books247k followers
March 29, 2019
”A great nation is judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has, or by the size of its military budget. It is not judged by the greed of its largest corporations. It is judged by how well it treats its weakest and most vulnerable citizens. A truly great nation is one that is filled with compassion and solidarity.”

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What I love about this photo is the obvious excitement of the crowd, his saggy, real person pants, and the fact that this man isn’t made for TV or even radio. His passion is infectious, and he made people believe that real change is possible.

I owe Bernie Sanders an apology.

I didn’t support him. I had tunnel vision. I didn’t think America would get behind someone who had declared himself an open socialist. I thought some of his ideas were too far to the left. I was comfortable with Hillary Clinton. I thought she had done what she needed to do to be the next president. I liked the idea of finally having a woman as president, and not just a woman, but a very qualified woman. The stigma of being really the only first world country to never have a woman as the head of the government is reaching the ridiculous stage. Many third world countries have had women heading their governments.

The establishment got out of the way for her. Joe Biden decided not to run. Other nationally known Democrats also decided to wait for the next cycle or the next one after that if she won.

Bernie Sanders got the (fantasy in my own mind) memo from the DNC, but he crumpled it up because, as he hosted events exploring the possibility of running for President, all he heard was…Run, Bernie Run!

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I had my first flicker of discontent when the scandal involving the DNC rigging the process for Hillary Clinton came to light. I was still feeling a little irritation that Bernie was winning states and extending the process. When I observed his events, all I saw was a sea of young people crazy about him...what the f**k did they know? How many of them are even registered to vote or will even get out of bed to vote on election day? Young voters are notoriously unreliable. By them supporting him, it made me even more firm in my support of Clinton.

So after gazing upon the smoldering ruins of a presidential election, I decided that the very man whom I had rejected may have actually been the man who could have won this election and started moving the country in the right direction. From looking at the voting data, many of those young people who were fired up about Bernie did not come out and vote for Hillary or voted for an alternative candidate as a form of protest.

We will see how costly those protest votes prove to be.

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At the same time, though I despise protest votes, after sifting through the evidence, it does seem clear that there was a conspiracy to keep Bernie from winning the nomination. People had a real reason to be pissed off. To Bernie’s credit, he does not really talk about this in his book. This book is about issues. His campaign was about issues. He did not parse his words. Hillary Clinton has been through enough campaigns to know how carefully she needs to word every answer she gives. She might avoid controversy with her tap dance answers, but it comes across as canned and, more importantly, lacking sincerity.

So I want to publically apologize for not giving Bernie Sanders the credit he deserved for trying to run a progressive campaign about the issues. Part of my penance was to read his book, not that it was drudgery, far from it. I actually laughed out loud at times, and more importantly, he handed me a long list of talking points to discuss with my numerous Republican friends. I’m not going to get into all of them because the book is a terrific source for addressing every major issue the United States is and will be facing, but he also gives us viable solutions to each and every one of these issues.

As I was reading this, I was reading parts of it out loud to my wife, and she asked me at one point isn’t it depressing to read about everything that is wrong with the country? I’m a solution based personality so even though there are a lot of scary things wrong just knowing that there are valid ways to fix those problems was actually inspiring.

As Bernie says...it isn’t too late.

”How does it happen that the wealthiest family in America is also the largest welfare recipient in this country?Wal-Mart makes huge profits by paying their workers wages that are so low that the workers not only qualify for, but need, public assistance just to get by. Many Wal-Mart employees rely on Medicaid for health insurance for themselves and their children---paid for by the taxpayers of this country. To feed their families, many Wal-Mart workers receive food stamps---paid for by the American taxpayers. And to keep a roof over their heads, many Wal-Mart employees live in subsidized housing---paid for by the taxpayers of America.”

How much does the American people pay Wal-Mart in welfare? $6.2 billion.

Wal-Mart made $15 billion in profit in 2014. If they had paid their workers a living wage of $15 an hour it would have cost them $5 billion. Not an insignificant amount, but they would still make a $10 billion profit. How much of that $5 billion investment in their employees would actually be used to buy goods in their stores? Probably a large % of it. I don’t think the American taxpayer should finance Wal-Mart’s huge profit margin.

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The Walton family makes more money than the bottom 130 million Americans combined.

Bernie addresses our prison system. We have 25% of the entire world’s prison population. What? Say that again. The United States incarcerates 25% of the prisoners in the entire world.
We’ve all heard the term “too big to fail” in regards to insurance companies and banks. Since I’m into confessions in this review I too was fooled into thinking that is true. If a company is too big to fail than it is too big. It doesn’t mean it can be as stupid and reckless as it wants to be and wait for the American taxpayer to bail them out. An Attorney General recently said that bank officials were “too big to jail” because it would destabilize the world economy.

Come on man... that is what we do better than anyone else in the world. I am much more interested in seeing the white collar prick go to jail for ethics violations than the poor black kid for dealing drugs.

He talks about the long working hours of the American worker, longest for a first world country with averages of 47 hours a week. 40% of the country work over 50 hours a week. This is despite all the advances in technology that allow everyone to do more in less time. He talks about the health care problem and the need for everyone to be on a single payer system. He discusses the massive amounts of student debt. He exposes the worst tax avoiders in the United States and the massive amounts of money that is held offshore to avoid US taxes. The rich are getting richer off the backs of the rest of us and we are nearing the breaking point.

It is always so funny when Republicans accuse Democrats of wanting to redistribute wealth or engaging in class warfare, but they are pointing the finger in the wrong direction. It is the top 1% who are engaged in class warfare and who are redistributing all the wealth to themselves. The question I keep asking is when is enough money enough?

So our “crazy” guy was Sanders and their “crazy” guy was Trump. Who would have thought that this was the election where people were so desperately wanting change that they were willing to go for the “craziest” guy?

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Would Bernie have beat Donald?

Broken beer bottles, razor blades, rusty chains, brass knuckles...I’m taking Bernie.

Keep helping us look for a better America Bernie.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Betsy Robinson.
Author 9 books993 followers
November 28, 2016
It's been decades since I've faced racial and ethnic hatred up close, but when these things happen, they scar you. Hence, my fear at the proliferation of swastikas following our election. I don't like feeling this kind of fear, and education helps lower my heart rate as I stay engaged. I read Our Revolution because I needed educating, and if that is your goal, this is the book—whether you are a Bernie true believer, a Clinton supporter, or a Trump voter whose motivation was to take a sledge hammer to a system that is not working and is ignoring millions of people.

The first section of this book is a methodical educational walk through recent politics—absolutely excellent, clear-eyed, and optimistic (particularly the Burlington story which comes near the beginning of the book), no matter who you voted for! If you can ignore your particular biases, you will receive an education in oligarchy, which has been the direction of politics for a long, long time—whoever has money gets their way.
The political power of the oligarchs goes well beyond their campaign contributions and ability to influence elections. As a result of their ownership of media, think tanks, university chairs, and political front groups, they influence American public opinion and domestic and foreign policy in ways that few realize. (190)

The second section of this book is a manifesto about what exists now and how to create something else for all of us who want fairness, the ability to make a living, safety, and acknowledgement. There is a lot of detail, heavy facts—so much knowledge that I wondered how Sanders can contain it without having his head explode as mine kept threatening to do. But education is not easy. And it can be pretty scary to learn the why and how of oligarchy. At times, I felt panicked and overwhelmed. But I would rather feel those things than not know. There are reasons behind Sanders's campaign talking points about the top 2% owning all the wealth being a bad idea, about why raising the minimum wage is a good thing and how it can be done, and the section on reforming Wall Street is an alarming "Paul Revere"-type equal-opportunity indictment of Democrats and Republicans that left me gasping.

I found myself personally stirred up—remembering times when employers had claimed financial reasons for underpaying me or when people who made three times my income balked at my hourly freelance rate; I recalled a senior colleague, a man with a trust fund, telling me in all seriousness that our pay should be determined by what we need and since he had three homes and two kids, he needed more than I did. When I said I would like to own one home rather than rent and have the option to do things like go to the theater and the doctor, he seemed to think my desire for growth did not equate to his need to support his existing lavish lifestyle—and this is the normal mindset in our country! I learned in Our Revolution that the most common human tendency is to not only grab as much of the pie as you can, but actually believe you need it and it's better if you have it. What an illusion!

I finally got educated about trade; I'd just thought I was stupid and uninformed, but I learned that this may be because the news media have a vested interest in not covering trade agreements.

In short, this book is grad school of substance behind Sanders's familiar talking points. Read in-depth, simple-to-understand discourses on topics you want to know about, or skim and skip some sections once you get the gist—I did this increasingly toward the end of the book, and my one criticism is I wish there were an index and bibliography or endnotes so that I could easily go back to certain topics after writhing on the floor and recovering from the information overload, maybe a year from now.

What makes this book so optimistic is that Sanders has experienced beating the odds. He's seen the people who voted on both sides, and I mean really seen them. They filled his rallies.
"At all of these rallies, where we were filling up large arenas, people were not walking out during a long speech, they were not (I think) bored. They were listening. If there is a lesson I learned from this experience, it was that Americans are hungry for an understanding of what is going on in our country and how we can improve it." (147)
And his section called "Turning Workers into Owners" (pp. 259-262) was completely new and exciting to me. Why don't we do these things? Lots of other places have and they work!

We have our job set out for us, but Sanders and others believe that if we stop sitting it out, if we take our politics personally and become involved, accepting that NOBODY on top, no elected official is going to "fix" our life, we can change, but it must come from the ground up.

My opinion: It is critical that we stop blaming and acknowledge that we all want the same things: fairness, a chance to succeed in life, a safe home. Sanders has some very good ideas about how to accomplish those things. Number one: Wake up!
Profile Image for Diane.
1,079 reviews2,606 followers
June 13, 2017
Bernie Sanders wants to change the world. His book, Our Revolution, is part memoir and part manifesto.

Humanity is at a crossroads. We can continue down the current path of greed, consumerism, oligarchy, poverty, war, racism, and environmental degradation. Or we can lead the world in moving in a very different direction.

The first section of the book is the story of his campaign for U.S. president in the 2016 election, in which he lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton. This section went on too long and got bogged down with Bernie constantly repeating everything his campaign was up against, and his thanking every individual who helped him along the way.

The second part is his agenda for how we could transform the country, with detailed statistics and ideas for changes. This is where Bernie's passion and earnestness really shines and you can understand why he gained so much support among those upset with the political establishment.

I listened to this on audio, with Bernie narrating about half of the book and the actor Mark Ruffalo reading the other half. While I agree with much of Bernie's agenda and his perspective on the myriad of the problems we're facing,* it was a struggle to finish this book because Bernie is so strident and relentless that it felt like getting an 18-hour lecture by an angry uncle. I had to take frequent breaks to make it to the end. (My husband listened to part of it with me, and he described it as "a really long op-ed piece.")

* A Short List of Our Problems: Stagnating wages for the middle and lower classes; jobs outsourced to other countries; the rising cost of health care; the rising cost of college; politicians corrupted by lobbyists and big money; corporate tax dodgers; crumbling infrastructure; not enough support for veterans; not enough support for families; not enough support for seniors; institutional racism; the prison industrial complex; a broken immigration system; xenophobia; war; and climate change. Bernie addresses all of these issues in his book.

Even though the audio version became a bit tedious, I would still recommend Bernie's book to those who are interested in reading more about his ideas. His book sounds a lot like his campaign speeches (some clips of his speeches were included in the audiobook), and it has good details for those who are politically minded.

One last thing: Bernie wrote so favorably about his state of Vermont and he made it sound so appealing that now I want to move there.

Meaningful Passage
"We can overcome the insatiable greed that now exists and create an economy that ends poverty and provides a decent standard of living for all. Yes. We can create a vibrant democracy where knowledgeable citizens actively debate the great challenges they face. Yes. We can create a health care system that guarantees health care for every man, woman and child, and that focuses on disease prevention and keeping us healthy, not outrageous profits for insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Yes. We can effectively combat climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy ... We will not be able to accomplish those goals if we look at democracy as a spectator sport, assuming others will do it for us. They won't. The future is in your hands. Let's get to work."
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
715 reviews202 followers
November 17, 2016
Worthy reading for anyone interested in the political climate of 2014-2016 (and beyond), democratic socialism, or that cool cat Bernie Sanders. Written with feeling, humor, and intelligence, the words of a modern politicians I actually respect ring true and strike the heart of any reader hoping for a better tomorrow. No matter your politics, this one is worth checking out.
Profile Image for Tanima.
77 reviews11 followers
February 12, 2017
“Humanity is at a crossroads. We can continue down the current path of greed, consumerism, oligarchy, poverty, war, racism, and environmental degradation. Or we can lead the world in moving in a very different direction.”

As Americans, we consider our country to be one of the greatest in the world. Our values move in a generally forward direction, but our priorities for caring for the most vulnerable of our society have somewhat slipped behind the rest of the world. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 platform is one of the most progressive in modern history, and he lays out important issues plaguing the current state of America. I was overwhelmed with various emotions reading this book: sadness for the millions being left behind, anger regarding the domination of greed in our government, and fear of the future after what could become decades of neglect. Regardless of your political views, these issues affect all of us and future generations to come.

“The establishment wants you to believe America is broke, indeed they need you to believe America is broke. But in reality, we are the richest country in the world, and we are richer than at any other time in history.”
Profile Image for Christopher.
643 reviews209 followers
December 7, 2016
I was planning a long review where I explained how wonderful Bernie Sanders is, how he cuts through all the BS and is constantly bringing attention back to the basic issues ("A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little."), how it's frustrating that he has to remind everyone that his ideas are not extreme ones (Is it really so crazy to think that minimum wage workers should make $15/hr, or is it crazier that taxpayers subsidize the profits of the Walton family—who own Walmart, who hoard more wealth than the bottom 40% of America, over 127 million people—by providing welfare assistance for their employees that aren't paid enough to survive on?), how he's one of the only politicians who seems serious about saving the planet from the fossil fuel industry ("If we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be inhabitable."), how he's somehow the only prominent politician who admits that our politics are systemically undemocratic ("We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected. That is not what this country is supposed to be about. That was not Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people."), how he is able to prioritize between destroying other countries and preserving our own ("Millions are unemployed and our roads and bridges are falling apart. It we can spend $6 trillion sending people to war, we can spend $1 trillion to put Americans to work fixing our nation's crumbling infrastructure."), or how maybe all you need to know about him is that he's a decent guy and that's a really remarkable characteristic in the current political climate ("There is too much shouting at each other. There is too much making fun of each other."), but you already have opinions about Bernie Sanders.

Instead, I'll use the rest of my space here to collect a few of my favorite Bernie moments:

^After winning his first mayoral election in Burlington, Bernie celebrated by picking up trash in a public park.

When Bernie wouldn't yield.

^This goofy smile.

When his brother cast the final electoral vote for him and they both fought back tears.

^Of course, we can't forget the time when a bird endorsed Bernie Sanders.

Okay, okay, I guess this is a book review, so I should talk about the book. It's a good book. I mean, if you like Bernie Sanders, you will like this book. If you don't, you won't. The first quarter or so is a quick and dirty memoir of his life, but mostly focussing on his 2016 primary run. The rest of the book is a run-through of his major policy positions. If you get the audiobook, the memoir portion is narrated by Bernie himself. The rest is narrated by Mark Ruffalo, who sucks at it. He basically sounds bored during a lot of it, and he chuckles at strange times. If you're part of the top 1%, you should buy the audiobook to listen to Bernie read his part, then buy the print or e-book and read the rest of it yourself.
Profile Image for Christine Zibas.
382 reviews37 followers
February 10, 2017

But transforming America is more than just elections. It's about changing our culture.

While I would love to give this book a higher rating for the ideas Sanders espouses, this book just doesn't do them justice. The first half of the book is a (too) long recap of the election process. We spoke here, this many people showed up, these campaign people helped...not really much insight here.

The second half is where the meat of his arguments rest, and unfortunately even here, the book could have used some editing. He throws out a lot of facts and figures (all good solid information), but he really only begins to get some solid development of his case near the book's end.

This book would have been so much better, had I read it in reverse. Even worse, I read it amidst the Trump Inauguration hoopla, and just kept thinking to myself, "Oh, what could have been."
Profile Image for Darlene.
370 reviews130 followers
February 7, 2017
After a lackluster year of reading, finishing 2016 listening to 'Our Revolution: A Future to Believe in' by Bernie Sanders was pure joy for me. I can't say that I learned anything I hadn't already known as I've been an admirer and follower of Senator Sanders for more than a decade. But he speaks to my heart AND my mind and reminds me of what I believe to be true about the world and my place in it. Plus, Senator Sanders narrates the first half of the book himself…. which made the book that much more enjoyable.

If you are interested in Bernie Sanders' political and social views, I highly recommend that you listen to this audiobook. It's inspiring, hopeful and uplifting.
Profile Image for Jim.
1,088 reviews65 followers
January 20, 2022
The story of a political phenomenon--the Bernie Sanders for President campaign by the Senator himself. In the Democratic primaries of 2016, the Senator from Vermont received 13 million votes, won 22 states, and more than 1.4 million people attended his rallies. All the more remarkable as he started with zero money and almost no name recognition, from a small state. But he took on the Democratic Party establishment. Millions will continue his political revolution and take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America. More than ever, we have to press our progressive economic, environmental, and social agenda to create jobs, raise wages, combat global climate change and provide health care for all.
310 reviews6 followers
November 14, 2016
Brilliant Insights; Well-Written; And A Senator "For The People" In Touch With Middle Class American People Is Awesome Wisdom Of "Media" Instincts For "Profit" An Outstanding Chapter! My Goodness A Senator In Congress Finally "Honest About Media" Is One-Of-A-Kind To Stand Up For Truth Of Manipulation! My Own Life On Internet Watching YTUBE Materials; 9/11 Truth Act By Thousands Of Brilliant PH.D Professionals Across Entire Globe; Watching Film "Conspiracy Of Silence" Film Plus Books "Franklin Scandal"; "Franklin Cover-Up" And Recent Best Seller Per Pervert Jeff Epstein "Filth Rich" Obviously Two-Tier Justice Is A Rejoice Bernie Sanders Addressed "Media CONTROLLED By "Other Interest"! Cover-Up Of "Corruption" Not Addressing Is "Genuine Obvious By Media"; And Bernie Sanders Hits "Nail On The Head!"
Profile Image for Tulay.
1,202 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2017
He did and do what's right.
January 15, did finished reading this book again, or should I say for now. But don't want to write a long review, myself don't like reading long long reviews. Condense my book review to four or five sentences in the morning. But any one interested reading this book can ask me any questions they have.
Profile Image for catherine ♡.
1,128 reviews148 followers
March 2, 2020
Love this guy. And this book. It was so much more comprehensive than I expected and it addressed all of the issues and plans in such detail.
Profile Image for Kevin.
269 reviews561 followers
April 14, 2019
Feel the Bern, and beyond…

The Good:
--First half is Bernie’s autobiography + 2016 campaign, accessible reading with even a few radical name-drops (Eugene V. Debs, Michael Parenti!). Bernie narrates this part in the audiobook version…
--Second half goes through Bernie’s political stances, a Social Dem/Progressive platform; this is the strongest people’s platform offered by the 2-party political theatre of Wall Street + the petrodollar + the greatest military in human history (summing up the political economy that calls itself the "U.S.A."). In other words, a comprehensive resistance plan to start from (to provide some space, not activist leadership), and this is all we should expect from politicians who must entangle with such concentrated private powers. Actual transformative ideas are sprinkled in here and there (public banking, worker co-ops).
--If this seems harsh, consider that keeping illusions only result in unnecessary disappointments (Obama). Compare US presidential talking-points with world public opinion; US politics is framed from the perspective of the 0.1%, and the scraps-from-the-table they are willing to entertain.

The Missing:
--In terms of long-term viability, we start running out of track for the Social Dem train… Let’s break down the contradictions of Social Democracy (i.e. political democracy + economic capitalism):

I guess you cannot acknowledge you are running for president of a capitalist empire…?
“USA is the wealthiest country in human history, so why can’t it pay for ((insert social need))”: this may as well be the slogan for American Progressives, and it is repeated for many of Bernie’s identified issues. This also relates to “why does the US spend trillions on making its military deadlier, spending more than the next 8 countries combined, instead of spending on social needs (which includes veteran needs)”.

If we take political economy and history seriously, we can actually answer these rhetorical questions. Private wealth is not benign; it transforms power relations, it has a social cost. The core contradiction of Social Democracy is that (a) capitalism runs on one-dollar-one-vote, whereas (b) democracy (mostly referring to political elections, but really should extend to workplace democracy, active participation, etc.) runs on one-person-one-vote.

Private wealth of such extremes pays for military domination of foreign lands and shirks on domestic social needs because these are the principles for its very existence. This class dimension is not clearly laid out by Social Dems. Characterizations like “wasteful spending” and foreign policy "blunders" obscure the strategic act of enforcing the global division of labor, where rich countries write the trade deals to provide their own corporations cheap inputs and secure, profitable outputs (protected markets, high-productivity sectors).

Wars and arms sales are rational and profitable for military industrial complex of the 1%, while the 99% pay for it with their taxes and lives: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier.

Thus, the realm of global power relations is where Social Dems unravel. For example, Social Dems can assume a framework of benevolent, “free” competition between nations to point the finger at poor countries having a competitive edge in attracting corporations due to low regulatory standards (cheap labor, environment, etc.)! Once again, flawed assumptions lead to skewed perceptions of power relations. Capitalist laws (unequal and destructive trade deals, intellectual property laws, debt and privatization traps) dictated by rich countries enable their corporations to continue the over-exploitation of “post-colonial” lands. Capitalist intervention smashes alternative recovery/development. Not to mention, elite bankers and shareholders already transcend national boundaries.

Illusions of “New Deal” era policies, the "Golden Age" of Capitalism/Welfare State/Social Democracy, creating a vibrant American “middle class” conveniently bypass the real driver that pulled America out of the Great Depression: vast military industrialization and profiteering while the rest of the world was decimated, followed by writing the international financial system. Transformative progress requires seeing and addressing America’s Military Keynesianism, not simply rewriting its surface disguise.

For more on America's Military Industrial Complex/Military Keynesianism:
-Vijay Prashad:
-Michael Parenti:
Profile Image for Nancy.
869 reviews19 followers
March 31, 2017
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The first third of it is read by Bernie and it's all about his time leading up to deciding to run, and running his presidential campaign. This part was interesting, but it wasn't what I was hoping to hear. The rest of the book is read by actor Mark Ruffalo, and it's all about the issues that Bernie sees effecting 98% of Americans and the solutions that he offers for dealing with them. It's really refreshing to hear a politician actually discuss these issues in a straight-forward fashion, lay out actual solutions that he believes will work, and then further explain how the situation developed in the first place.

One of the best things about listening to the audiobook is to hear the conviction in Mark Ruffalo's voice as he reads. He simply can't help but scoff in disbelief as he explains the current situation, his voice drips contempt when discussing wall street banking practices, tax breaks afforded the ultra wealthy, and our lack of universal health care.

What I really liked about this book is its cohesion. Throughout, Bernie keeps mentioning how the most important lesson he has learned as a politician is that everything is tied to everything else. And unbelievably, Bernie then goes on to discuss all, and I mean ALL, of the pertinent issues of the day and how they are all intermingled in a tangled, immoral, imprudent mess. Climate change, the disastrous Citizens United court decision, lack of universal healthcare, the need to increase the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, public education reform including the need to make college accessible for all, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, national security, the fossil fuel industry, institutional and structural racism, our current mental health crisis, criminal justice system reform, the war on drugs, immigration reform, and our large, corporate-owned media outlets that practice their own surreptitious form of censorship every day. Bernie clearly lays out a plan of attack for each of these problems and empowers his listeners to contact their legislators, work with grass-roots organizations for change, and hold their elected officials accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. The scale of change that Bernie discusses truly is a revolution.

P.S. And did I mention Bernie's disdain for our crumbling infrastructure and the burning need to reinforce/modernize our roads/bridges/ dams/interstates?
Profile Image for Kressel Housman.
966 reviews216 followers
April 20, 2017
Bernie supporters are bound to love this book, so I’ll address this review mainly to my conservative friends, though I hope my liberal friends will benefit from it also.

The book is divided into two parts: an autobiographical section and a policy section. Bernie supporters will enjoy the autobiography, which traces his childhood all the way to the presidential campaign, but conservatives may want to skip right to the policy section. It details the same message Senator Sanders always gives over, but with more stats and figures, which the longer form of a book allows for more than stump speeches or TV interviews. The Senator makes a convincing case as to how our system is rigged to benefit the rich, and then shows in plain numbers how our tax system can be changed to fix it. I think every American should read this section, but if you’re a conservative, and you just don’t feel like it, then if nothing else, read pages 149 through 152 because those were written just for you. It’s the text of the speech that Bernie gave at Liberty University, the Christian college founded by Jerry Falwell. If you’re a Never Trump type of conservative, you may also be interested to know that Bernie and his team worked with Senator McCain and his team on a bill to benefit veterans. And if you’re a Jewish conservative who suspects that Bernie despises his own Jewish roots, be aware that one of his oldest friends is a Chabadnik who teaches religion at the University of Vermont. (I was so excited to learn that, I wrote the man an email.)

To Bernie supporters, this book is a gem. The autobiographical section gets a little repetitive, but it’s worth it for the little tidbits you’ll learn about Bernie. The policy section is more important, though.

May G-d bless Bernie Sanders. He kept true to his ideals his entire life, and now he’s waking them up across the generations.
Profile Image for Amber Foxx.
Author 13 books66 followers
December 9, 2016
The first ten pages should light a fire in discouraged progressives, but I think everyone, no matter who they voted for, could learn something of value and interest from this book. There is common ground for all middle-class and working-class and poor Americans in Sanders’ examination of economic issues. He has done his research. I’ve studied in depth a number of the issues he addresses, and as far as I can see, he is accurate in his assessments, especially on health care. The book could have been more tightly edited, but a little repetition when he’s trying to get a point across is okay with me. There are so many important ideas in this book, instead of a formal review, I’ve posted notes I took while reading. They do not in any way replace reading it yourself, but if you would consider them spoilers, stop after this paragraph. A number of my notes are quotations from the book that I think will make great discussion points when my book club meets after reading this. I hope the notes give you food for thought, a reason to read the whole book, and fuel for becoming an engaged, thoughtful citizen.

• Bernie discovered in college that there were points of view in various publications, learning to read critically. (I think everyone should learn this. Apply critical thinking, not reactive criticism, to news and media.)
• “How do we get white working class Americans to stop voting against their own best interest? … (Republicans) get one group to fight another group while their wealthy friends and campaign contributors get richer and laugh all the way to the bank.” Need to bring all Americans of any race or ethnicity together around economic issues instead of dividing them.
• “…lack of political consciousness is exactly what the ruling class of this country wants. The Koch brothers spend hundreds of millions to elect candidates who represent the interests of the rich and powerful. They understand the importance of politics. Meanwhile, people who work for low wages … don’t see a connection between the reality of their lives and what government does or does not do.”
• National Nurses United Union supported him because of Medicare for All, single payer. Because current system makes it hard for them to provide the quality of care they want to give.
• In 2014 63% of Americans didn’t turn out to vote (midterm elections).
• Agrees with Pope Francis’s call for a “moral economy that addresses “the needs of ordinary people and not just capitalist profiteers.”
• “Is it moral that, when millions of seniors are unable to afford the medicines they need, the top tenth of one percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%? Is it moral that, when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country in the world, the twenty wealthiest people in the country have more wealth than the bottom half of America—160 million people? Is it moral that, when our citizens are working longer hours for lower wages, 52% of all new income generated today is going to the top 1 percent?”
• Bernie had no superPACs. Wanted to be personally responsible for the message.
• “As someone who had never run a negative political ad in his life, my campaign will be driven by issues and serious debates—not political gossip, not reckless personal attacks or character assassination. This is what I believe the American people want and deserve. I hope other candidates agree, and I hope the media allows that to happen. Politics in a democratic society should not be treated like a baseball game, a game show, or a soap opera. The times are too serious for that.” From Bernie’s speech announcing he would run for president. He promised to fight for economic and social justice, environmental sanity and a world of peace. For health care as a right, not a privilege. Access to affordable child care and higher education regardless of income, better health acre for veterans. We can live in a country where “Where every senior can live in dignity and security… where every person no matter their race, their religion, their disability, or their sexual orientation, realizes the full promise of equality that is our birthright.”
• “Rural people are not as conservative as the Democratic leadership has long believed, and their votes should not be conceded to right-wing republicans.”
• Clear that Sanders is the one who deserves credit for Clinton’s change of stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership, though Trump likes to claim it was his influence.
• “… we don’t have national elections. We have elections that are determined state by state.”
• During a debate, Anderson Cooper asked Sanders about Clinton’s email problem. Bernie said, “Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the Secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails. And let me say something about the media as well. I go around the country, talk to a whole lot of people. The middle class of this country is collapsing. We have twenty-seven million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. And the American people want to know if we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the emails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.” The audience rose in a standing ovation.
• Polls showed Sanders defeating Trump. I saw those, too. This is not self-serving spin on Bernie's part. I was a poll follower. Most polls showed Bernie stronger against Trump than Clinton would be.
• “When you hear a report from an ‘independent non-partisan think tank” telling us that climate change is just an unproven theory, or why we should give tax breaks to the rich, or why we should no join the rest of the industrialized world in in guaranteeing health care for all, are their conclusions influenced by the billionaires and insurance companies who fund those think tanks? Spokesperson form “concerned citizens for this or that” who oppose the EPA, want to cut or privatize Social Security or the VA—check who funded these concerned citizens. Billionaires?
• Great proposal for automatic registration to vote on turning eighteen or on moving to new state. Burden on the state, not the individual. Make Election Day national holiday or spread it over a two-day weekend, and make early voting and absentee ballots easy. No special requirements and test for requesting absentee ballots. Restore felons’ voting rights when they are released.
• Kochs subsidized networks of seemingly unconnected think tanks, academic programs and advocacy groups. Activism cloaked as philanthropy, but it was a fully integrated network.
• In 1979 the top 1/10 of 1% owned 7% of the country’s wealth. Today it owns 22% We have had redistribution of wealth for decades. It’s upward redistribution.
• In the decades following WW II, the economy expanded. “…the workers in those factories were often unionized, and had good benefits—health insurance, paid sick leave, and vacation time. They negotiated regular pay raises and had defined benefit pensions.”
• Special interests demanded a bigger slice of the pie. Made it harder for worker to unionize, demanded deregulation of industries, particularly banking. Opposed increases in minimum wage. Political establishment dominated by people for whom “unrestrained free market capitalism was virtually a religion.” “They argued that ‘freedom’ was no longer the about workers having the right to earn decent incomes and live their lives in dignity and security. No, ‘freedom’ was now about employers having the right to pay their employees the lowest wages possible without government interference. … the right of Wall Street hedge fund managers to make incredible amounts of money, without regard for whether their investments destroyed lives or fouled the environment. Freedom was the ability of billionaires to buy elections and create a government that worked for them, not the middle class or working families.” Median income is falling yet we work longer hours than any other major developed country on earth. Because we have those “freedoms.”
• Millions of American workers need food stamps and Medicaid because they are not paid enough. Public assistance given to them is essentially subsidizing the profits of the companies that pay them low wages. Walmart employees using food stamps at Walmart. Living in subsidized housing. Walmart gets the equivalent of $6.2 billion year in welfare. Makes 15 billion in profit. It can afford to get off welfare. Low-wage employees received 153 billion a year is various public assistance programs. People with jobs. Fast food, Walmart etc. We should provide for the poor, but not subsidize the corporation who keep them poor.
• Can create more jobs by investing in energy efficiency upgrades than by putting the same amount into coal.
• Clean Energy Worker Transition Act—legislation to retrain coal miners, provide benefits as they learn to make solar panels, wind turbines , advanced batteries, etc. and have resources directed to cleaning up environmental damage from coal, and build infrastructure to attract new business. This is better for health and for the overall future of coal country than going backwards into higher levels of dangerous and health-harming coal mining.
• When the super-wealthy get tax breaks, they don’t spend more, invest more in the economy or create new jobs. Under Bush’ tax cuts, no net gain in private sector jobs. Half million jobs lost and the deficit exploded.
• 68% of the tax break on capital gains and stock dividends went to the richest 1 percent of Americans. Lower rate paid on money earned passively from money than on wages and salaries from work. Exclusion of taxes on capital gains for bequests and gifts subsidizes wealthy families passing assets to next generation. Dynastic wealth.
• Investor-state dispute resolution system allows a company to sue a government of another nation if its profits are affected. TransCanada can sue the US for an environmental protection choice to deny the Keystone XL Pipeline, a sound policy decision squarely within U.S. law.
• What about a social tariff? Unfair to have to compete with countries that have abysmal wages, minimal environmental standards and poor records on human rights.
• Should separate everyday banking functions form investment banking and insurance. Prohibit taxpayer-insured banks from holding derivatives contracts on their balance sheets.
• Proposes tax on high speed stock trading. Good explanation of why it would benefit the average person for the country to do this.
• While the rich and powerful are “too big to fail: and get endless cheap credit, the average American must fend for themselves. Socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for everyone else.”
• National health insurance saves time and money. Time and money spent while patients and doctors deal with insurance companies, trying to get things covered, or simply processing claims. Not paying claims is how insurance companies make money. (Administrative costs account for 39% of the difference between American healthcare spending per capita and Canada’s. The rest can be attributed to higher salaries, higher drug prices, and more aggressive and intensive treatments. My added data, not Bernie’s.)
• Insurance CEOs make 10 to 20 million in salaries. 47 million to one pharmaceutical CEO. There is money in our health care system, but it's not going to health care.
• Despite having the most expensive health care system among 11 industrialized countries, the US ranked last in measures of system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives. Spend $8,508 per person compared to UK, next highest, with $3, 406. And they ranked first overall on the same measures. We heave a lower life expectancy, more chronic disease, and higher infant mortality.
• Improved health starts with a healthy society. Poor people die younger than the rich, are exposed to higher levels of pollution. Stress, depression, substance abuse. Health depends on a good education, clean air and water, access to decent paying jobs. Equality for all regardless of race, sexual orientation or nationality. These are all health issues. “The bottom line is that everything is connected to everything.”
• People with no hope of affording college sometimes give up at an early age. Wasted years in high school, see no point. Free college would change that.
• 200 million people could be displaced by climate change by 2050. Bigger refugee crisis than any we’ve yet seen.
• Taxpayers’ subsidies to fossil fuel companies. 5 billion in incentives for fuel extraction a year, 49 billion a year in research development, plus direct subsidies and lucrative leases on drilling and mining on public lands and offshore. The End Polluter Welfare Act would save $130 billion over a decade, and could be directed to transitioning to a clean energy economy\.
• Taxing carbon and methane would require companies to internalize costs they currently externalize. If they add to climate change, the costs are now borne by the cities and countries and town that are going underwater to sea level rise, by the famers losing crops to drought, etc. Other plans explained in detail.
• Strong integrated analysis of impact of our high rate of incarceration on the economy, democracy. The rate at which we imprison our citizens is shocking when you see graph comparing us to others. We far exceed the incarceration rate of Russia and China, let alone democracies.
• Line is from MLK, “socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” Instead of turning middle class against those in most pain—scapegoating the poor and unemployed—we need “to stand together against wealthy special interests who get richer and richer while most everybody else gets poorer.”
• Payroll taxes are only assessed on first 118,500 of income. So a CEO earning 20 million pays no more in payroll taxes than someone earning 118,500. America doesn’t have a problem with what one Social Security, adversary called “greedy geezers” but with the super-rich not paying their share. Income inequality and regressive taxation affect Social Security.
• Reporters ask about the campaign as drama, not issues. The horse race details, not the reasons the candidate is running. About the candidate as a person, not the needs of the American people. Youth unemployment, climate change—real issues. 43 million Americans living in poverty. Name calling and personal attacks, the Reality TV approach worked for Trump. 234 network minutes compared to 10 for Sanders during primaries (Tyndall report)
• “The great crisis we face as a nation is not just the objective problems we face—a rigged economy, a corrupt campaign finance system, a broken criminal justice system, and the extraordinary threat of climate change. The more serious threat is the limitation of our imaginations. It is falling victim to an incredibly powerful establishment—economic political, and media— that tells us every day, in a million different ways, that real change is impossible and unthinkable … That there are no alternatives.”
• "Yes. We can overcome the insatiable greed that now exists and create an economy that ends poverty and provides a decent standard of living for all. Yes. We can create a vibrant democracy where knowledgeable citizens actively debate the great challenges they face. Yes. We can create a health care system that guarantees health care for every man, woman and child, and that focuses on disease prevention and keeping us healthy, not on outrageous profits for insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Yes. We can effectively combat climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
No, we will not be able to accomplish these goals if we look at democracy as a spectator sport, assuming others will do it for us. They won’t. The future is in your hands. Let’s get to work.”
Profile Image for Carrie (brightbeautifulthings).
809 reviews29 followers
January 28, 2021
I’m really proud of myself for finishing this because I don’t often read nonfiction and it’s an intimidating 450 pages. That being said, it’s also very accessible. Sanders keeps up a conversational tone that’s easy to follow, and while his points are well-researched and well-supported by evidence, they’re never too complicated for the typical reader to grasp. After providing a brief history of his upbringing and his rise in politics, the first section of the book follows the historic campaign for presidency funded entirely by grassroots support. He spent so much time meeting with ordinary people and having meetings in small towns, places most politicians never even glance at. It was unprecedented, and while Sanders ultimately didn’t win the candidacy, I think we can still consider it an amazing success in getting his agenda out there. Part of the reason we talk about things like a $15 federal minimum wage and universal healthcare like they’re things that can actually happen in the near future instead of like wild leftist/socialist ideas is because Sanders put those ideas out into the world, one small town at a time, and made them acceptable. I hope more potential politicians look at all the hard work he and his campaign put in and realize it’s possible to do the same. He already left a blueprint for it.

The rest of the book covers Sanders’ platform in detail, and it’s one of the things I really admire about him. I liked Sanders before, but I like him even more now. There’s no smoke and mirrors with him. He’s not a millionaire or funded by millionaires. He’s just a Jewish guy from Brooklyn who spends more time talking about the issues than trying to get funding or blindsiding his followers with fancy rhetoric–something I wish more politicians would focus on. I don’t care about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal or where Donald Trump is having his New Year’s Eve party. I want to hear what politicians stand for and what they’re going to fight for, and Sanders is all about that. He cares about poor people, rural people, working class people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, veterans, sick people, people with disabilities or mental illness, the elderly. All those populations that get ignored and overlooked, Sanders has legislation to protect them. Further, he shows that progressive politics are good for everyone, urban and rural alike, which is something Democrats have largely failed to bring together. It was overwhelming, at times, to read about a politician who cares so much about people and isn’t separated from them by money and media, and I’m glad I read it at the end of The Orange Menace’s reign of terror, when hope actually feels possible again.

There’s a big, 100-page section in the middle of the book about economic reform. While it’s the hardest part of the book to get through, it’s also the most necessary, since pretty much all of Sanders’ ideas circle back to this main issue. It’s totally bonkers for the super rich to own so much of the country’s wealth while huge numbers of families in America don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Sanders can fund pretty much every welfare program in the book, combat climate change, and have enough money left over to make college tuition free, all without raising taxes on middle and working class people. Holding the super wealthy and major corporations accountable would fund all of it. One of the best parts of Sanders’ rhetoric is that it’s all backed by actual science and research, which feels like a small miracle in this era of spin and misinformation. Parts of the book made me so angry I wanted to throw it against the wall, not because of Sanders’ agenda, but because of the terrible things our country has done (and continues to do) to its most vulnerable populations. I learned a lot, and I would encourage both readers interested in grassroots politics and ones who feel totally disenchanted by the current political system to pick this up. It’s well worth reading.

I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
449 reviews8 followers
December 9, 2016
Excellent read. I think about 90% of the country would support this amazing man if they would read this book. In his words, instead of what many have passively taken in and believed without question. Not only does he detail the main issues that challenge our country, he offers common sense solutions. And, more importantly, HE DETAILS HOW TO PAY FOR THEM.

Bernie offered such a simple solution to pay for free public college and universities for all. Worth reading just for that. He reminds us that not only did we bail out Wall Street, but we gave them big tax refunds shortly after and didn't ask them to pay back what we gifted them. He reminds us that health care should be a right for all. Amen. He fairly attacks the SIX, yes SIX, major companies that control 90% of our media. This is why I don't watch or listen to much, if any, news.

This man has spent his entire life working for us. For the poor and least of us. And people get stuck on two words: democratic socialist. They believe the media (controlled by 6 companies) that democratic socialism is bad, when in reality, they participate in it daily.


I don't know anyone who doesn't benefit from most of these. And they probably are related to or friends with someone who benefits from the rest.

Social security
farm subsidies
garbage collection and public landfills
Postal service
Fire and rescue
Student loans
War (ew)
The polio vaccine
Public jails and prisons
Business subsidies
Food stamps
All elected officials
The sewer system (see immediately above)
GI bill
Free school lunch and breakfast
The Pentagon
Flu vaccines and other vaccines
Unemployment insurance
Public transport
Public snow removal
Private business subsides and welfare (I put these two together for perspective)
Public Street Lighting
Public defenders
Dept of Homeland Security
State and national monuments
Gov scholarships
Department of Human Services
Border security
Department of Education
Department of Justice
National Weather Service

Book also briefly details his life and the election. Fascinating. He really has a well spent life working for all.

Profile Image for Al.
402 reviews3 followers
March 28, 2019
The flaw of "campaign" books is that they are generally preaching to the converted, and just as likely,despite how bright the star (Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader), they aren't worth anything four years later since the environs are so different.

I don't really have a problem with that. I suspect every politician, from the ones that I mentioned to the blander pols like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty probably have put together books that make the reader feel good.

So Sanders book follows, though one suspects he figured that Hillary would be in the White House at this point. In a weird way, the ideas in his book will likely set the stage for whoever takes the Democratic nomination in 2020. Sanders did indeed move his party in unexpected ways.

Sanders book serves as two halves- one is a memoir of the campaign, the second a manifesto.

Both serve their topics well, though if you are not a Sanders fan, the returns may be limited.

Hearing the Sanders platform, it seems like it would be one that would capture the nation. Removed from the real world, it seems a logical path for which to campaign to the White House. That Bernie is a 70+ year old Jew from Vermont who has spent decades proudly proclaiming himself a ‘socialist’ may have been more than he could make up for.

True enough though, whoever picks up the torch (if not him), whether Biden, Booker or Warren or someone else, will probably be even further to the left than the views in this book.

Sanders covers a lot of issues, and even for the issues where I hear him hardest criticized, he has provided good answers. That said, a book does not really allow for a debate.

This will likely be a good enough book for supporters. If you fall short of diehard status, it is s pretty dense 400+ page book which betrays the notion that these books should be short and breezy.

Reading the book renewed the things I liked about Bernie, but the ideas never are able to remove themselves from the man. It is the rare book that will last past his sell by date, and will likely be the New Democratic playbook.

Politics aside, it is a bit dense for the reader. Sanders gets a bit too much in the weeds at times. In the days where everyone communicates in messages of 140 characters, it’s good that he does explain his views and plans, but for a casual reader, the book is a slog at times.
Profile Image for RachelvlehcaR.
346 reviews
February 3, 2017
This is an amazing book. I started off reading it on my kindle then the audiobook became available. I switched to that version and it was the best choice I made. I recommend audio for this book. It's powerful. In the audio experience Bernie is the narrator for this one. For the other half of the book it's read by actor Mark Ruffalo. He does a great job in the narration but it's Bernie that has the most power in this on. Bernie uses clips from his speeches and it's incredibly intense to listen to. The passion in his voice and the crowd cheering in the background. This adds so much more than when I was reading it on my kindle. Again, I highly recommend the audio for this book.

There is a lot of information in this book. It's about the focus and platform Bernie focuses on and it's all very relevant to our lives in this day and age. The book is broke into those topics. The first part is Running for President. In this part there are six different chapters and it's surprising to hear some of the things that Bernie and Team Bernie when through. It's amazing to hear about how in this election something shifted in the way politics were happening and how Bernie earned the money from simple small donations from $5-$20 donations from everyday people.

Part Two: An Agenda for a New America: How we transform our country, is the largest chunk of the book. It has ten chapters in it and it overs a lot. In this section there is a lot of information and this is where Bernie gets into his platform. In this section Mark Ruffalo narrates most of it.

This is a powerful book. If you have time pick it up or grab the audio version because it will open your eyes!
Profile Image for Stephanie Griffin.
862 reviews111 followers
November 28, 2016

The best audiobooks are often read by the author themselves. They of course know the nuances and tone of what they wrote.
I listened to the audiobook version of OUR REVOLUTION: A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN, written by 2016 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Published in November 2016 by MacMillan Audio, it covers Sanders' political involvement up to his losing the Democratic nomination (in my opinion organized by the Democratic National Committee Itself).
Senator Sanders remains gracious towards those who would tear him down, which shows what a great negotiator he would have made as President. Yet he is also unwavering in his beliefs that all citizens of the United States deserve a fair chance.
Hearing Sanders read his own words is nice, although at times he seems tired. Inexplicably, the second half of the audiobook is read by Mark Ruffalo, whose snide chuckles sound forced and are a distraction I could not overcome. Sanders thankfully comes back for the last chapter and the conclusion, but by then it was too late. I had skipped most of Ruffalo's reading and wondered if I'd missed anything critical.
Sanders' message is one of thankfulness for his millions of supporters and of urgency that the revolution MUST continue AGAINST corporate criminals and unfair political processes, and FOR all citizens to have access to education and livable wages.
I recommend the printed or eBook version of this book. Skip the audio.
Profile Image for Karel Baloun.
386 reviews34 followers
November 23, 2016
Why does a progressive revolution need a 450 page book of facts and policies, while the Tea Party starts with an angry rant on cable TV? Because progressives actually need to see what they are buying? Sanders writes that nothing meaningful can fit into a 140 char tweet, and I'd suggest he needs to find ways to do so.

He invests 100 pages in a detailed explanation on how to revive the middle class rural economy, and I have zero doubt he is right. In about 20 pages he sells single payer health care so simply and obviously, that it's crazy we have anything else. I learned most from the chapters on Trade and media consolidation/ownership.

The first quarter is a deep family history, some of which I hadn't known. The second half is a blueprint the the Dem party must adopt (and further develop) with passion for the next two elections.

While Trump and Bernie were both outsiders, Trump loved the entertaining political fighting, while Bernie was just frustrated than no one in the media wanted to talk policy, or about serious implications on society and ethics. Gotta abandon corporate centrism and the greed of Wall Street, and rebuild the middle class. He concludes "Let's get to work."
Profile Image for bananya.
126 reviews15 followers
December 22, 2016
I read it to affirm what I already knew about this charlatan.
Profile Image for Idyll.
160 reviews25 followers
February 14, 2017
I wish Sen. Sanders had written this book before the election. Reading it now is depressing for two reasons. One, we may not see any of these sensible changes he is proposing in the next few years. Two, some people who agreed with his message but weren't sure "how he was going to pay for his proposals" might have found his arguments convincing and voted for him.

Those who read "Outsider in the White House" might find some of Part One of "Our Revolution" repetitive. Part Two is worth reading because it details how we can go about strengthening our social and economic fabric. He writes exactly the way he speaks – simply, directly and effectively!

Even though the book is depressing for the aforementioned reasons, the overwhelming feeling he leaves us with is the need to be proactive and make the change we want to see in our world. And he tells us exactly how to go about it. Also, when he speaks of Americans, you know he is addressing everyone from Native Americans to Immigrants. As the longest serving Independent in congressional history, the only divide he cares about is that between the rich and the poor, not red and blue, not democratic and republican, just those in power and those marginalized. And his goal is to bridge that gap. What's not to agree about that?

(The one major topic Sen. Sanders curiously omits in this book is International Affairs, that is, foreign policy, national security, the global conflicts that the US is directly or indirectly a part of. Even though Sen. Sanders has been more consistent in his position on various International issues than most politicians, he has often been accused of having lesser experience in this area than Hillary Clinton. This has been his Achilles heel. I would have therefore thought, he would dedicate a chapter to clarify his views and his commitment to building peace. In today's globalized world, can "Our Revolution" take place if we live in a bubble? To learn his political positions on Foreign policy, read his Wiki page )
Profile Image for C. Scott.
612 reviews11 followers
November 2, 2017
This was a lot better than I expected! I am no fan of political autobiographies so I picked this up with trepidation. However, I have a great fondness for Bernie so I was willing to give it a chance.

Even Bernie seemed to be in a rush to get through the autobiographical details, keeping the story of his life to a brief 40 pages or so. The next section, the campaign diary, was the hardest to get through. It was mostly the standard campaign story with liberal doses of thank yous and "I'll never forget so and so."

Finally, about 150 pages in, we get to the good stuff. As a reader who is well-versed in inequality literature this work stands out. Bernie has a special talent for explaining complex trends and the forces that drive economic and political inequality. He is an authoritative source who has personal experience with how political inequality operates. Even better, he has specific legislative proposals to address these issues and begin winding them back. This volume would be a great place for anyone curious about inequality to begin; but it also has unique insight and perceptions for readers who already have a firm grasp on the material.

Asking "why" is the most important question when it comes to solving problems. Once you begin grappling with "why" we have such serious economic inequality in this country it becomes possible to start thinking about "how" to address the issues it creates and solving this crisis. Bernie Sanders understands this, giving us the why and the how.
Profile Image for Michael Bohli.
972 reviews41 followers
June 27, 2019
Das politische Treiben in den vereinigten Staaten von Amerika ist für mich immer wieder schwierig zu verstehen. Wie kann ein solches Land nur solche Entscheidungen treffen, wie kann man sich mit einem unmöglichen Zwei-Parteien-System so fest eingraben? Bernie Sanders, Präsidentschaftskandidat 2016, denkt genauso und möchte die Bevölkerung in seinem Land wach rütteln. Mit seinem Buch, oder besser gesagt, seiner Anleitung "Unsere Revolution" hat er seinen Plan, seinen Gesellschaftsentwurf in Worte gefasst.

Im kurzen ersten Teil wird sein Werdegang und die Entschlussfindung zur Kandidatur thematisiert, der grösste Anteil dieses Sachbuches wird aber den politischen Aspekten gewidmet, welche Sanders verändern möchte. Sozialstaat, Wirtschaft, Aussenpolitik, in einfachen Beispielen und klaren Worten wird jeder Bereich erklärt und mit Zahlen und Fakten unterlegt. Das ist für Personen, welche sich selten mit dem politischen Geschehen und ihrer Umwelt beschäftigen bestimmt aufschlussreich und voller neuer Einfälle. Wer hingegen seit Jahren interessiert an den Mechanismen der Welt ist, der erfährt wenig Neues. Viele Ideen werden in der Schweiz bereits angewandt oder intensiv diskutiert.

Für Einsteiger und den normalen Bürger der USA eine neue Perspektive, für alle anderen eher ein Wiederkäuen bekannter Elemente.
Profile Image for Brooke.
194 reviews11 followers
February 27, 2017
I'm so convinced. And also so convinced that none of the policies Bernie wants to enact will happen because of all the money fueling politicians. The main theme of this book is how corporate greed is ruining America. Even if you don't agree with Bernie's politics, the sad facts about corporate favoritism over the quality of life for average Americans is worth hearing. If you're not part of the greedy 1% of America's millionaires you should be in Bernie's camp. And definitely read this book.
Profile Image for Nicole  charlton.
37 reviews
January 29, 2017
A great read, and very insightful, even though it is quite a somber read considering the current state of our nation.
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