Bernie Sanders Outsider in the House

ISBN 13: 9781859848715

Outsider in the House

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9781859848715: Outsider in the House
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Is progressive politics possible in the United States today? Can a democratic socialist take on the two-party system to win a seat in Congress? Bernie Sanders is the first Independent elected to the United States House of Representatives in 40 years. Running primarily on class issues, he successfully put together a coalition of working people, the elderly, the poor, women and environmentalists. Once in Washington, Sanders helped found the House Progressive Caucus, the 52-member group that recently provided the major opposition to Newt Gingrich’s reactionary “Contract with America.”

Outsider in the House gives the inside scoop on Sanders’s discussions about class politics with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office, his battles with the often Byzantine politics of the House floor and his encounters on the campaign trail in Vermont. It provides a penetrating critique both of a growing rightward movement in US politics and the failure of the two-party system to represent working people in America. Scrutinizing the battles on the Hill and across the nation over welfare reform, health care and NAFTA, Sanders lays bare the powerful forces which have produced the most inequitable distribution of wealth in American history. But he outlines, too, the positive role that Congress could play in protecting working Americans by introducing an Alternative Budget which would slash military spending and corporate welfare and use the savings to rebuild America’s human and physical infrastructure.

Here, in a passionate and personal voice, is the story of one man’s battle against the chimerical choice presented by the Republicans and Democrats. Others must follow the path that Congressman Bernie Sanders has taken before US democracy can be revived. Outsider in the House is a compelling signpost for that most difficult of political journeys.

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Review:

Bernie Sanders of Vermont uses the story of his 1996 reelection campaign to paint the picture of what it's like to be the first Independent elected to the House of Representatives in 40 years and the only one ever elected to four consecutive terms. Outsider in the House provides a good look at such recent political skirmishes as the Gulf War, NAFTA, and health care reform. In his concluding chapter, Sanders puts forward explicit proposals for tackling such issues as bridging the gap between rich and poor (develop a truly progressive tax code, he says); campaign reform (establish automatic voter registration, end soft money, cap total election expenditures and provide free TV time for political ads); and balancing the budget (drastically cut defense and corporate welfare).

About the Author:

Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Early in his career, Sanders was director of the American People’s Historical Society. Elected Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes in 1981, he served four terms. Before his 1990 election as Vermont’s at-large member in Congress, Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

Huck Gutman, a long-time political collaborator of Sanders, is Professor of English at the University of Vermont.

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ISBN 10:  7859848716 ISBN 13:  9787859848717
Publisher: VERSO, 1996
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