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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, 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, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign. From the Trade Paperback edition.


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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, 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, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign. From the Trade Paperback edition.

30 review for Outsider in the White House

  1. 4 out of 5

    George Briggs

    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 .

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    “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 “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 of running for president was even a twinkle in his eye. (Or so he says...) In 2015, Sanders threw his hat in the ring for the presidential race. While he may have started out as a long-shot, it is (as I write this) March 2016 and Sanders has been giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. Despite lack of any mainstream media coverage, a rigged system of super-delegates favoring Clinton, and a campaign funded without any corporate sponsors, Sanders has made it this far, successfully and with much of which to be proud. He’s run a clean, positive campaign, and there is, between the two Democratic candidates, obvious respect---something that can’t be said for any of the candidates in the Republican pool. I’ve said from the beginning that I would gladly vote for Hillary if she became the Democratic candidate, but I unashamedly support Sanders. I voted for him in my state’s primary (he lost), and I would vote for him again, because he is a candidate that I believe in. He is the only candidate, in my opinion, speaking to---and for---the vast majority of Americans. He isn’t just paying lip service, and his long track record as Burlington, VT mayor, Congressman, and Senator has proven this. The interesting thing about “Outsider in the House” is that, despite the fact that it was written in 1997, Sanders’s message has NOT CHANGED AT ALL. Sadly, the problems he was fighting then are the same problems today. In some cases, they have gotten worse. New problems have cropped up, as the world is a very different place than it was in 1997, but many of the new problems stem from the old problems. Sanders has been a lone voice within the hallowed corridors of Washington, D.C. He has faced opposition, stonewalling, and indifference from both Republicans and Democrats. His numerous attempts to introduce legislation that would help a majority of lower-to middle-class American families have either fallen on deaf ears or vindictive fellow members who have no interest in helping anyone but themselves and their big-money donors. And yet, he keeps on going. He is the Energizer rabbit of Congress. Even Republicans and Democrats have to at least respect the guy’s tenacity and optimism. He’s a David going up against a Coliseum of Goliaths with nothing more than a slingshot while they all have AK-47s aimed at his head. Even if you don’t agree with Sanders, it’s hard not to like him. He has that lovable avuncular vibe: that crazy uncle that every family has at least one of, who is always complaining about something stupid that the government is doing. In his case, though, everything he says is true, because he knows about it first-hand because he actually works in the government. Perhaps the most important thing about Sanders is his unrelenting defense and protectiveness of our nation’s poor. While Republicans and Democrats have basically transformed the War on Poverty to a War on Poor People within the past 20 years, Sanders has consistently been trying to create legislation that would help not only poor people but children, senior citizens, the disabled, and the disenfranchised. As vocally and consistently anti-war as Sanders is, he has also done more for veterans than most politicians in Washington, D.C. He has also been fighting for gay rights long before it was fashionable. “Poor people are a good target for the Republicans,” wrote Sanders. “Exhausted by an increasingly difficult struggle for survival, they are not organized and can’t fight back. Seventy percent of welfare recipients are children, a constituency that cannot vote and has few civil rights. (p.174)” I recommend “Outsider in the House” if you are like me and already have an affinity for Sanders. I also recommend it, though, for those of you still on the fence about to whom you plan on giving your vote. Hearing Sanders’s no-nonsense, straightforward and logical platform may not necessarily sway you either way, but it will, at least, hopefully make you think about things that many other politicians don’t, or won’t, address.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miles

    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 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 democracy. Bernie’s no newcomer to the inequality bandwagon; he’s driving the wagon, and has been for decades. I liked him from the beginning, but my “come to Bernie” moment happened during the first Democratic primary debate, when he identified climate change as America’s number one security threat. I thought I was going to fall off my chair. No tribalism, no war drums, no fear-mongering. Just good sense, backed by scientific consensus and a proper understanding of long-term geopolitics. (Bernie doubled down on this assertion in a subsequent debate.) Bernie’s stentorian progressivism has generated a lot of curiosity about the man and his background, and now readers can satisfy that curiosity by picking up the re-release his political autobiography. First published in 1996 as Outsider in the House, the new version is called Outsider in the White House. It’s the same book with a new preface from Bernie and an afterword by John Nichols. I can’t say it was a particularly thrilling read, but Outsider in the White House certainly proves that Bernie is exactly what he claims to be: a courageous and unique firebrand who’s spent decades defending poor, working- and middle-class Americans. I had my suspicions: would a book about elections from the 1980s and 90s still be relevant in 2016? Although there have been significant changes in strategy, outreach and financing since that time, many of Bernie’s observations from those early elections turn out to be surprisingly up to date. Whole passages can be lifted straight from this book and applied to the 2016 campaign with minor or no tweaking. Here are some examples: "My political opponents in Vermont often accuse me of being boring, of hammering away at the same themes…Tragically, most politicians do not talk about the most serious issues facing our country, or the real causes of our problems. So I do. Over and over again. This drives the media and my opponents a bit crazy…Should we ever achieve economic and social justice in this country, I promise that I’ll write some new speeches." (19) This exact criticism was leveled at Bernie when he stayed on message after the Paris attacks last November. He doesn’t care about giving the media a new story every time he opens his mouth. Instead, he stays focused on the stories that matter, ones that expose the economic, political and environmental injustices that are eroding our democracy. "If people, including the media, do not understand the difference between one candidate who receives the bulk of his support from organizations and individuals who represent working people and the middle class, and another candidate who receives the bulk of her support from wealthy and large corporations, then they do not know much about what goes on in Congress. I am going to do my best to prevent the wealthy and corporate interests from buying this election." (93) Here Bernie is referring to his opponent in the 1996 election, Susan Sweetser. But simply switch out “Congress” for “the White House,” and this passage perfectly describes the difference between Bernie and his current opponent, Hillary Clinton. Even the gender pronouns can remain untouched. Additionally, Bernie is still doing his best to prevent wealthy interests from buying elections by refusing to engage with Super PACs. (He is the only non-billionaire candidate from either party willing to do this.) "I was angry that the Iraqi situation was deflecting attention from the serious problems that I was anxious to tackle…Twenty percent of our children live in poverty, millions of Americans lack decent housing, workers’ standard of living is in free-fall, and we need a major overhaul of our health care system to ensure affordable medical care for everyone. And now we were going to spend months engaged in a war with a two-bit tyrant." (137) Update the statistics and switch out “Iraqi” for “ISIS” or “Syria,” and this passage reads like it was written yesterday. "Millions of Americans demand an explanation. 'I obey the law. I play by the rules. Why do I have to live in fear when I walk down the street? Why can’t my kid be safe when she goes to school? Why is it costing me a fortune in taxes to pay for extra police or to send these people to jail? Why can’t they get a job, and be decent citizens? And why does the government want to take away my guns at the very moment when I most need them to defend and protect my family?' In summary, many Americans are thinking: 'This world is changing very fast. I am confused, I am frustrated, and I am angry––and I’m frightened about the future.'" (161, emphasis his) This is a spot-on depiction of Trump supporters, and, interestingly, it also applies to a lot of current Bernie supporters as well. Just to reiterate: all of the above passages were first published in 1996. They prove Bernie was ahead of the curve in his thinking about the American polity and its uncertain future. Although I dig Bernie big time, he is of course an imperfect candidate. He’s only human, and it would be disingenuous of me to praise him without describing some areas of disagreement. My biggest gripe is Bernie’s apparent soft spot for alternative medicine. Back in the 90s, Bernie developed a nodule on his vocal chords that impaired his speech. Instead of seeking medical treatment, he tried for a “natural cure”: "I don’t want a doctor scraping away at my vocal chords and making me sound like Donald Duck. I drink all kinds of weird teas. I’ve taken homeopathic remedies. I’m supporting the cough drop industry. I’m trying to change my way of speaking. It’s all very interesting, but none of it is working." (48) At least Bernie was big enough to admit the failure of his alternative approach, and he did eventually get surgery. His voice made a full recovery, and he did not end up sounding like Donald Duck or any other cartoon character (no surprise there). Still, he’s lucky it wasn’t something life-threatening, because he might have chosen the wrong path and ended up like Steve Jobs. Bernie is great on climate change because he has listened to the scientific community; if he becomes president, I will expect him to look to science whenever appropriate, including on matters of health policy. This doesn’t mean western medicine is perfect, or that we have nothing to learn from different medical traditions, but it does mean we need to rigorously suss out the difference between health care professionals and snake oil salesmen. This is especially critical when trying to save money and reduce unnecessary treatments in a world of ever-increasing health costs. Another of Bernie’s flaws is characteristic of almost all politicians: a tendency to oversimplify the views of his opponents. I’m all for calling bullshit when necessary, but some of his depictions of right wing positions go too far: "If you have no rational analysis of the causation of social problems, if you represent the rich and powerful and can’t address the needs of ordinary people, then the surefire route to political success is to manipulate people’s fear and ignorance, to play off one group against another––to scapegoat." (156, emphasis his) I won’t argue that these statements are grossly inaccurate, but I do believe they represent only a half-truth. It’s important to remember that plenty of conservatives are well-educated, thoughtful and decent people with a sincere investment in making this country better. It’s just that, from a progressive standpoint, they have very different ideas about how to accomplish this goal. There are snakes and wolves in the halls of power, but there are also many well-meaning folks trying to do the right thing according to their individual and social peculiarities. Despite the reality of manipulation at both ends of the political spectrum and everywhere in between, our nation is hashing out many legitimate and fundamental disagreements with good arguments on both sides. If we forget that, then we deserve the same excoriation Bernie serves up to the right wing scapegoaters. Here’s the good news: even if Bernie’s rhetoric sometimes gets out of hand, he’s also a pragmatist with a record of coalition-building to balance out his “outsider” status: "I cannot emphasize enough how important it was that we developed 'coalition politics.' The way to rekindle hope in America, we learned in our small New England city, is to bring people together. After all, most people share things in common with their neighbors. They work hard to make a living, they are concerned about their children, they want to drink clean water and to feel safe in their homes. Reminding ordinary people that government can and should work for them, speak with their voice, is the great strength of coalition politics, and the hope, I believe, for America’s future." (40) This passage reveals what is possibility Bernie’s best quality: his staunch belief that government can and should be a force for good in the lives of ordinary citizens, and not just a blind bureaucracy that needs to be reined in as much as possible. Bernie’s record reflects this attitude. During his time in Congress, Bernie not only built a Progressive Caucus (189-90), but also worked with conservatives to discover common ground where it seemed none could be found (318-9). He is deeply committed to citizen education and determined to expand voting opportunities and encourage all eligible voters to actively participate in the democratic process (31, 254, 316). Although it’s fair to point out that President Obama’s “purple America” approach backfired tremendously, Bernie’s record belies the arguments of critics who claim he’d be an ineffectual president. Make no mistake––this man can do the job. But whether he will get the opportunity is up to us, the voters. My realpolitik instincts tell me that Hillary is still likely to win the Democratic nomination, but as long as Bernie’s on the ballot, he’s got my support and my vote. In the “Afterword,” John Nichols argues that Bernie’s candidacy could potentially amount to much more than progressive puff: "[Bernie's success] may sound like a romantic notion. It may be a romantic notion. But politics, at its best, is about more than cold calculation. It is about believing in a 'left wing of the possible.' What distinguishes Bernie Sanders, however, is that some of his romantic notions have succeeded." (345) Here’s to striving for the success of one more romantic notion. This review was originally published on my blog, words&dirt.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

    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 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 and the forces that push him on. Did you know he took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union? That he once visited Daniel Ortegaa to show solidarity with the Sandinistas? And that his first wife was named Deborah? You will have a hard time finding this book in print. I got mine from the Library of Congress.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Dexter

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Matthews

    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 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 Sweetser. Sweetser hires a professional firm to create negative TV ads and mass mailings telling Vermonters essentially that Bernie is an evil socialist who isn't good for their state. All seems bleak, doesn't it? But Bernie Sanders isn't a quitter. He continues to campaign like he always has, attending parades and town hall meetings, shaking hands and listening to what the voters have to say. He'll admit that he's had some extremely close races in the past. In fact, he won his first bid to be mayor of Burlington by a whole ten votes! His first run for Congress wasn't easy, either, but these hard-won victories have taught him a lesson: Stay the course, and keep your constituents and their concerns foremost in your mind. Of course, Bernie regained his seat in 1996. Outspent and out-advertised, he won it handedly over Sweetser and her wealthy backers. How? Simply put, the mud Sweetser slung at Bernie didn't stick. Vermonters didn't believe a word of it and felt insulted anyone would try such a low-handed tactic. After all, they knew who the real Bernie Sanders is, a man who keeps his word and fights for what he believes in without resorting to negativity and mudslinging, always doing his best to help his fellow man. The voters were too smart to fall for the lies of an expensive, slick ad campaign based on the empty promises of the Republicans. Outsider in the White House is a second edition of Bernie Sanders' 1997 book Outsider in the House, but its contents are more relevant than ever. The first part of this edition shows how much of a scrapper the senator from Vermont is, how tough a campaigner, no matter how great the odds or the dirty tactics his opponents use. As the only Independent in the House--and now the Senate--he's fought hard to be taken seriously by his fellow legislators and has made friends in both of the major parties. Neither Republican nor Democrat, Bernie has been able to use his outsider status to form alliances for the benefit of the American people, one recent noteworthy cross-aisle alliance being his work with Sen. John McCain to improve veterans' access to health care. The second part of the book Bernie tells us how he sees America's challenges. Remember, this book was written in 1997. You'd assume he's changed his positions somewhat, right? Wrong! Bernie Sanders is still talking about our growing income inequality between the workers and the CEOs, America's loss of jobs due to NAFTA (and now the threat of TPP), the need for universal health care, the crisis in our educational system and the necessity of protecting our environment. He even warned us in '97 about the corporate media and how a handful of billionaires can dictate information we receive as they deem fit, preventing the American electorate from becoming knowledgeable and informed voters. On page 279 he warns us that we're in danger of becoming an oligarchy, where only the rich are represented and their wants and desires catered to at the expense of working Americans. Eighteen years later, this very nightmare has come true in the 2008 mortgage crisis and in the form of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Why oh why didn't we listen to Bernie earlier? A foreword by Bernie and an afterword by John Nichols bring the narrative up to the present day, detailing the excitement and enthusiasm generated by Bernie's run for the White House. Bernie's desire to help all Americans live healthy, peaceful and productive lives explodes from the page and is contagious. You can't help but cheer "Yes! Go Bernie!" after every point he makes. Integrity, consistency, positivity and honesty attract voters. Lucky for us, Bernie Sanders possesses these characteristics in abundance. To become a part of his "future to believe in", read Outsider in the White House and get out and vote in your state's Democratic primary in the coming weeks. You--and all of America--will be glad you did.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    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 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 Socialist Party USA's 1984 convention and having campaigned sedulously for him in 2016, the detailing of his mayoral and congressional careers contained a lot that was new to me. Most interesting was his listing, towards to book's end, of proposals to cut the federal deficit. Not the most beautiful prose, but composed in earnest, I highly recommend this and his other books to my fellow citizens.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ron Turner

    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 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. My biggest worry is that his entire campaign has been for nothing. Folks are rallying to him because they want change. But he makes it clear in the book that he won't run as an independent because he doesn't want to be a spoiler in a general election. So you know what's going to happen. Hillary Clinton will steal the nomination. Bernie will graciously concede in exchange for promises that the Democrats do better on progressive issues. Hillary will then run on a rallying cry that if everyone doesn't vote for her, civilization itself will end. The moment she wins, she'll then break all of her promises, whining that it's best to wait because the NEXT election is so very important. Leaving yet another generation disgusted with politics as usual. No single-payer healthcare. No progressive tax code. No living wage. No end to corporate welfare. No end to war. No end to income inequality. No progress in anything.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Moses Hetfield

    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 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 so admired for is genuine and sincere. However, it doesn't always sound like Bernie's voice, which I suspect is attributable to Huck Gutman's co-authorship. My biggest complaint with this book is that it is advertised in a misleading way. Based on the book's cover and summary, one would assume it to be a recent autobiography talking about everything leading up to Bernie's current presidential campaign, but upon reading it becomes clear that it is really just a rebranding of a 1997 autobiography with a new title, introduction, and afterword. The actual text of the book has clearly not been updated for the present day; when it talks about the "current" minimum wage, for instance, it is talking about the minimum wage in 1997. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it and learning more about the 45th president of the United States. Or 46th, if that doesn't work out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gary Miller

    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 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 will try to highlight just a few. He writes about the asinine activities of Congress such as increasing the appropriations for the National Reconnaissance Office (not even sure what that is) even though this office simply lost $4 Billion. No one seems to know where it went. Or when Congress wants to get their “priorities straight” by cutting programs for the elderly, children, sick and disabled, for the homeless or the poor. When he won his seat in Congress, Newt Gingrich and Dick Army came to campaign against him. Corporate America was out to get him and poured millions of dollars to try to defeat him. So did the National Rifle Association. Being an independent, he had no support from any political party. In spite of this, he was able to pick up votes from conservative wealthy districts as well as the more liberal districts. He won every county in the state. There were only two members of Congress to endorse Sanders when he ran for Congress. One was Barney Frank and the other Peter De Fazio from Oregon. He says the book is a story about “corporate greed and contempt for the working people, private agendas masquerading as public good and corporate America’s betrayal in workers in its drive for galactic profits. It describes national media, owned by large corporations, which increasing regards news as entertainment, insults the mind of American citizens daily….” He examines “the two major political parties, neither of which comes close to representing the needs of working people”. Sanders believes there is no major political party in America representing working folks and the poor. He feels Democratic members of Congress of today have been supporting anti-worker legislation that Richard Nixon had rejected. Years ago, if someone were to say a majority of the Democratic members of Congress and a Democratic President would have cut food stamps by $20 Billion, they would have been laughed at. Yet that is exactly what they did. With some exceptions, the only group of Democratic member of Congress to vote no were members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He makes a distinction between corporate special interest and group representing people. He does not accept corporate money for his campaigns, but will accept money from “cause” organization. He says he does not consider “working people are a special interest”. He points out the hypocrisy of some members of Congress. The members of Congress, who accept millions from corporate America and rich individuals, stand on the House floor and talk about how raising the minimum wage would actually hurt poor people. These are the same member of Congress, who voted to throw millions of people off welfare, make major cuts in food stamps and slash affordable housing. He also mentions there are some members of Congress, who want to rid this country of minimum wage altogether. He points out real wages for American workers have declined by 16% over the last 20 years. In 1973, the average American was making $445 a week. Twenty years later that same worker would be making $373 a week in real dollars. He condemns big corporations such as Lockheed-Martin, who laid off 17,000 workers and at the same time pay themselves $91 million in bonuses. Sanders claims corporate America fans the flames of hatred against blacks (and other groups) hoping people ignore the terrible things the big corporations are doing to them. Sanders claims Republicans intentionally raise fear issues in order to divide America against each other. Gay/Straight. Middle class/poor. Legal vs. illegal immigrants. Why do Republicans use the poor as scapegoats? Because they realize that in large numbers, the poor do not make campaign contributions, do not vote and do not participate in the political process. Sanders is for marriage equality. He writes about a former Republican member of Congress Bob Barr, who introduced the Defense of Marriage Act. Sanders points out how qualified Barr was in introducing the bill since he has been married three times. He mentions Republican Congresswoman Waldholtz from Utah, a supporter of DOMA. She is pressing charges against her former husband. DOMA supporter Newt Gingrich told his wife, while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer; he wanted a divorce in order to marry his mistress. He refused to pay child support. His wife had to turn to her church for help. He quotes a poll indicating only 40% of Americans could name the vice-president, 66% did not know the name of their Congressman, and 75% could not name their two Senators. Forty percent believed either welfare or foreign aid was the biggest expenditure of the US Government. He points out the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (which has been renamed) is just 1% of the US budget. He does give support to some organizations who speak on behalf of children and the poor such as Children’s Defense Fund and the National Council of Catholic Bishops. I was disappointed he didn’t also mention the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby group in Washington. However, he did mention that during his junior year of college, he worked for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization. Conservatives scream about liberal’s spending money, but Sanders is ready for that argument. He listed over 30 ways that would save the US $678 Billion such things as closing tax loopholes for the rich to cutting military. The new strategy from conservatives is not to encourage people to vote their way, but to discourage people from voting at all. They tell people yes government is the problem and it can’t be fixed so why bother voting. In the 70s, tax bill went up for low to middle income folks 329% and went down for wealthy America 34%. In the 50s, corporations provided 33% of all tax dollars. Now they contribute about 10%. And some corporations and the rich of the rich paid no taxes at all. “A knowledgeable and informed electorate is essential to a working democracy. We fall short of that ideal. A principal source of the crisis in American democracy is the oligopoly—a handful of mega corporations—controlling the media, which ostensibly informs Americans about what, are happening and what our political choices are. To say the least, the media is doing a horrendous job of providing Americans with what they need to know in order to be active participation in a vital democracy. The problem with television is not what is reported, but what is not reported”. He says there are a number of shows geared towards business but not one show about unions and the positive impact they have on our society. He says NBC is owned by General Electric, which makes billions of dollars producing weapons. (Sanders feels they will support wars on television news because it makes money for them.) CBS is owned by Westinghouse. CNN is now owned by Time-Warner and he says that even public radio now has to bow to corporate sponsors. ABC is owned by Disney. He says we have socialism for rich in this country and “rugged individualism for the poor.” Perhaps an example is when we bailed out big corporations but didn’t have enough money to give a COLA for those on Social Security. Overall interesting read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Micah

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    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!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abraham

    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 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 ability to speak to people who don't agree with him. And he does that not by tempering his views or by adopting widely held beliefs as his own but by adopting a viewpoint and sticking to it over and over, and over... and over. The Clintons, Biden, and Obama all "evolved" on their views on the Defense of Marriage Act as public opinion shifted. Bernie knew it was baloney from the beginning and said so -- loudly. I saw an Internet comment once that said, For every bad decision that this country has made in the last 30 years, there is a video of Bernie loudly denouncing it. Several wars, the Patriot Act, the Defense of Marriage Act... I realize many are still deeply skeptical of socialism, but man, I love that man and his integrity. It should go without saying, but: Bernie for President 2020!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    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 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 different discussion, not a book review.) What got the book 3 stars? The writing style is dry. Now, Bernie's known for his direct, blunt speech and that's something I like about him. But in the book, it left something to be desired. There would be times where I'd wonder "why were we told these little details?" I literally laughed out loud, not in a good way, when a chapter ended on the sentence "We ate cold cuts." Why tell us that? Why not end on the previous sentence about how everyone was gathered to wait the election's outcome? It could be to show how Bernie and his camp are more down-to-earth than his opponents, but that comparison (at least with the food) was never made. So why write that one little sentence and ruin the momentum? But if the writing style is dry, again it's because it mimics his speech. And there are times when the book comes across as quite conversational, which is a nice touch. I also rate the book three stars because of its organization. It cuts from his campaign against Susan Sweetser in '96 to his time as mayor and House Representative (and thus his campaigns for those offices). I think this was done to add a stronger sense of narrative, but instead it just struck me as unnecessary and even confusing at times. While not the best-written book, I'd still recommend it. Because Bernie's message is legit, he walks what he talks, and damn if I don't feel more inspired to do my part for America's democracy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    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 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 anything, things have gotten worse. Outsider in the White House – much of which is untouched from the original 1997 edition – evokes a similar feeling. Sure, a few of the names are different, but it mostly feels like ‘hey, we haven’t fixed anything in almost twenty years and have mostly made stuff worse.’ But I enjoyed the book. A lot. If more political memoirs were like this, I would read them regularly. Bernie Sanders comes across remarkably well and much, much different than how he’s portrayed in the media. And yes, I do realize that the point of most political memoirs is to make the politician look good. But Outsider in the White House is less about him and his childhood and how he’s the Best Politician Ever! and more about his positions and his vision for America. And here’s the crazy part: His vision of America is one that I think most Americans support. His arguments – usually backed up by solid facts – don’t seem outlandish. They seem rather logical and common sense. For political junkies of any ideology, Outsider in the White House is indeed worth a read. And for those looking for a better understanding of exactly what democratic socialism is, well, it’s also worth a read. Recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    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 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 on the information being given to them. He strongly believes that knowledge is power and wants to give his constituents that power. The last race mentioned in this book he won by 71% of the vote. Who gets 71% of the vote? Bernie Sanders can do it! I like the way Bernie Sanders thinks and acts, and I like the way he writes too! I was delighted to learn that Bernie tried to get through an amendment on a bill defunding the money being spent by the government on spying on libraries and bookstores through the Patriot Act! It didn't pass but that is something that most librarians can sure appreciate!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    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 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 that may be overlooked today. It is incredibly refreshing to learn that Sanders holds dear the same values today that he fought for from the beginning of his career. He is just so genuine, and that is not something you often see in politicians today. I cannot wait to cast my vote for Senator Sanders in the primary, and hopefully in the general election in November. Bernie 2016!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamie King

    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 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 isn't a fiction then it becomes threatening. what is not cute is failing to cite anything; using so many quotes, and stats without ever giving up notes or context as he jumps from before he was born to events in the future making a more confusing mess than the hockey stick graphs

  19. 4 out of 5

    Riley Gardner

    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 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 make it better. Everyone can benefit from a government that works for all. Truly one cannot understand Bernie's message if this book remains unread. It is, by far, the most inspiring political book I've ever read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    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 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 refusal to run negative add campaigns to win races is a huge plus. I picked this book up out of curiosity and it convinced me that I like this Bernie Sanders guy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sean Estelle

    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 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 love Bernie, I bet you will after reading this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Cowles

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Educational, inspiring, and thought provoking. It had me thinking everyday about how I might be a more engaged citizen myself. Had me rethinking whether I'd ever go back into "politics. " Highly recommended, regardless of who you support for president. I'd also read it if interested at all in hearing the benefits of having independent congressmen and senators.

  26. 4 out of 5

    sabrina

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Derek Ouyang

    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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julia Luckett

    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!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Hanson

    IMPORTANT READ FOR EVERYONE WHO VOTES BLUE, RED, OR NOT AT ALL.

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