Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

by Bernie Sanders

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Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Bernie Sanders

The New York Times Best Seller!

When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a “fringe” campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an Independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.

By the time Sanders’s campaign came to a close, however, it was clear that the pundits had gotten it wrong. Bernie had run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country. He had received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country, won twenty-two states, and more than 1.4 million people had attended his public meetings. Most important, he showed that the American people were prepared to take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America and the 1 percent.

In Our Revolution, Sanders shares his personal experiences from the campaign trail, recounting the details of his historic primary fight and the people who made it possible. And for the millions looking to continue the political revolution, he outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all—and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better. For him, the political revolution has just started. The campaign may be over, but the struggle goes on.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250160454
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 779,465
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

BERNIE SANDERS ran as a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2015 and 2016. He served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, for eight years before becoming the sole congressperson for the state in 1990. He was elected to the Senate in 2006 and is now the longest-serving Independent in the history of the Congress. He lives in Burlington, Vermont, with his wife, Jane, and has four children and seven grandchildren.

MARK RUFFALO is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and social activist. Known for high-profile roles in movies such as The Kids Are All Right (2010), The Normal Heart (2014), Foxcatcher (2015), and Spotlight (2015), as well as blockbusters like The Avengers (2012) and The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), he made his directorial debut with Sympathy for Delicious at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. He was an ardent supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders’s bid for the Democratic nomination for president.

Read an Excerpt

Our Revolution

A Future to Believe In

By Bernie Sanders

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Bernard Sanders
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-13293-2




I grew up in a three-and-a-half-room rent-controlled apartment. My older brother, Larry, and I spent years sleeping on couches in the living room. During the 2016 New York State primary, in order to remind New Yorkers that I had grown up in Brooklyn, we held a rally on the street where I was raised, East Twenty-sixth Street. Fifty-six years after I left, I had a chance to visit the apartment where I spent my first eighteen years. Somehow, it had shrunk. God, it was small. The kitchen/dining room was tiny. It was hard to imagine our family of four having dinner there every night together. And the whole building looked dingier than I remembered. And so many apartments on one floor.

One of my first memories was being on the sidewalk outside of the apartment house where we lived on Kings Highway in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. There was a military parade. It was the end of World War II. I was four years old.

That war, Hitler, and the Holocaust surely played a major role in shaping the direction of my life. I remember the photos of my father's family in Poland — killed by the Nazis. I remember a telephone call in the middle of the night, which never happened in our apartment, telling my father the good news that a cousin of his was still alive and in a displaced persons camp. I remember crying whenever I saw photos in a book about the destruction of the Jews. I remember seeing people in the neighborhood with tattooed numbers on their arms — survivors of concentration camps. I remember the excitement in the community at the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

No question about it. Being Jewish. The loss of family, including children my own age, in the Holocaust. The rise to power of a right-wing lunatic in a free election in Germany. A war that killed 50 million people, including more than one-third of all Jews on the planet. All of this had an indelible impact upon my life and thinking.

My brother, Larry, six years older than me, introduced me to politics and a whole lot else. He has played an enormously important role in my life, and I am forever grateful for his love, counsel, and overall wisdom. For the last fifty years he has lived in Oxford, England, where he raised his family and worked as a social worker. Ten years ago he was elected to the Oxfordshire County Council as a candidate of the Green Party, and he was reelected for a second term. He is now active in efforts to maintain a strong National Health Service system in the UK.

My mother taught Larry how to read when he was very young, and he has been a voracious reader for his entire life. Larry first read to me when I was four or five. We would stay in bed late on Saturday mornings going through stacks of comic books. When we were kids he was my mentor and, as older brothers occasionally are, my tormentor. He was very smart, always knew the answers that I didn't — and he let me know it.

Being an older brother is not easy. Occasionally, when you want to go out and spend time with your friends, you have to take care of your kid brother and drag him along. Not fun. On Saturdays, if my parents were away, Larry would also have to prepare lunch for me. I thought his cooking was great. His spaghetti with ketchup and his My-T-Fine chocolate pudding were outstanding.

My parents were not much into reading books, and there were few of them in the house. While we borrowed books from the local library, it was Larry who first brought books into our home and onto a bookshelf. More important, it was Larry who helped me understand what some of those books were about. He was a good teacher, and opened my eyes to so much.

While my parents were not particularly political, they always voted Democratic, as did virtually the entire Jewish neighborhood in which we lived. Larry brought politics into the house when, as a student at Brooklyn College, he joined the Young Democrats and campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in 1956.

During my presidential campaign I was delighted that Larry and his wife, Janet, and son, Jacob, were able to join me at some of our events. I was even prouder when, as a delegate from Democrats Abroad at the Democratic Convention, he cast, with tears in his eyes, his one vote for my nomination.

Was my family "poor"? No. Did we (as the economists say) have much discretionary income? Absolutely not.

My dad was a paint salesman with the Keystone Paint and Varnish Company. He came to this country from Poland at the age of seventeen without a nickel in his pocket. He was always employed and made enough money to provide for his wife, Dorothy, and his two sons, but not much more than that.

Money (or more appropriately, lack of money) was always a point of contention in the house. There were arguments and more arguments between my parents. Painful arguments. Bitter arguments. Arguments that seared through a little boy's brain, never to be forgotten.

"Bernard. Go out and get some groceries. Here's what we need. Here's the list," my mother said. And, dutiful son of twelve, I went out and bought the groceries. But I went to the wrong store. I went to the small shop a few blocks away, rather than the Waldbaum's grocery store on Nostrand Avenue. I paid more than I should have. When I returned and my mother realized what I had done, the screaming was horrible. Money was hard to come by. Not to be wasted.

When I was thirteen, I wanted a leather jacket. It was the fashion. Everyone had one and I was tired of my brother's hand-me-down coat. "Okay," said Mom. "Let's get you a leather jacket." This became the shopping trip from hell. It's probably why sixty-two years later — ask my wife if I'm lying — I still hate shopping and why I want to escape if I am in a department store for more than a half hour.

On that day my mother took me to at least a dozen stores in search of the lowest price on a leather jacket. We started off at several stores at the Kings Highway shopping district. Then we got on the subway to the large department stores in downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan. There was no leather jacket in New York City that I didn't try on.

Well, you guessed it: We ended up buying the jacket from the first store we had visited on Kings Highway much earlier in the day. It's funny to think about that now. It wasn't funny then.

How much money your family had determined the quality of your baseball glove, which brand of sneakers you wore, and what kind of car your father drove. It also, of course, determined whether you lived in a rent-controlled apartment house (as most of my friends did) or a "private house." Not until I was much older did I learn that most people did not refer to the average house on a street as a "private house." But that distinction was very clear where I lived. Those of us who lived in apartment houses were working class and those who lived in "private houses" were middle class. It was one of the early class distinctions that I remember.

I spent much of my childhood playing out on the street or in schoolyards. The street was our world, and we never left home without a pink Spalding rubber ball. Unlike today, there was no adult supervision. None at all. We organized all the games by ourselves.

We played hour after hour after hour. On the street we played hide-and-seek, punchball, hockey, two-hand touch football, and stickball — with time-outs when cars passed by and strict rules as to what happened when the ball got stuck under a parked car. We pitched marbles into sewer grates. If your marble went down the hole in the middle, you got ten marbles back.

We played wall ball against the sides of the buildings. We played box ball on the sidewalk, curb ball against the curbs, and stoopball against the stoops. We played regular handball and Chinese handball. We flipped baseball cards. We raced. In the school yard of PS 197, where I went to elementary school a few blocks from where I lived, we played softball and basketball until we were so tired we could barely drag ourselves home. For nourishment, we chipped in to buy a large bottle of soda.

What I learned playing on the streets and playgrounds of Brooklyn was not just how to become a decent ballplayer and athlete. I learned a profound lesson about democracy and self-rule. From playing punchball and stickball? Yes.

There were no adults on the streets or playgrounds where we spent much of our lives. Nobody supervised us. Nobody coached us. Nobody refereed our games. We were on our own. Everything was organized and determined by the kids themselves. The group worked out our disagreements, made all the decisions, and learned to live with them.

"What game should we play? ... Hey. That's a great idea, let's do it."

"Can I borrow your baseball glove? ... Who brought the bat and ball? ... Was he safe or was he out? ... Was the ball foul or was it fair?"

There was no debate about who played on which side. Everyone knew who was the best, second-best, and third-best basketball player when we chose up teams. That's the way it was.

In three-man basketball, the team that lost went to the sidelines and a new team replaced them to challenge the winners. Those were the rules.

And it all worked out.

It was, as I think about it now, an amazingly democratic and self-sustaining community which taught me lessons about working with people that I've never forgotten.

The other thing I've never forgotten was the relationship that the kids on the block, and the entire community, had with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Sometimes, as I travel about, I am asked which baseball team I rooted for when I was growing up. Are you kidding? There was only one team. And they were family.

Gil Hodges at first, Jackie Robinson or Junior Gilliam at second, Pee Wee Reese (my favorite player) at shortstop, Billy Cox at third, Gene Hermanski in left field, the Duke in center, Carl Furillo in right, Roy Campanella behind the plate. On the mound we had Preacher Roe, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine, Joe Black, Sandy Koufax — among many others. Those names are indelibly planted on my mind. Sixty years have come and gone, and I remember those mythical figures like it was yesterday.

It would have been unthinkable for anyone on the block not to know the names of the players, their batting averages, and the win-loss record of the pitchers. We knew who they were playing on a given day, where they were playing, who was pitching, and how many games out of first place they might be. We also knew as much information about their personal lives as the baseball cards we flipped and traded provided. Most of our contact with the Dodgers came through the radio and TV play-by-play commentary of Red Barber and Vin Scully, who were as familiar to us as the players.

Ebbets Field, where the Dodgers played, was a half-hour subway ride away, and we would go to the ball games a few Saturdays or Sundays a season, sometimes for a doubleheader. Usually, we got the 60-cent bleacher seats, sometimes the $1.25 seats way up the first-base line. On occasion, we would wait outside the players' entrance to get autographs. I still remember seeing a tired Jackie Robinson walking out of the ballpark.

The Dodgers brought joy and despair to our world. What kid who grew up in Brooklyn does not still remember the end of the 1951 season, and the collapse of the Dodgers, who gave up a thirteen-game lead to the hated New York Giants. And then the playoffs. And Ralph Branca. And Bobby Thomson's home run, the shot heard 'round the world.

But better times came in 1955. Finally, finally, the Dodgers beat the Yankees and won the World Series. Johnny Podres the hero. Mass hysteria in Brooklyn.

You do not have to be a sociologist to understand the impact that the Dodgers had on the people of Brooklyn, race relations, and our sense of community. As kids we all knew, of course, that Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, and Roy Campanella were black. But what was far more important to us was that they were great ballplayers. We were not bleeding-heart liberals. We just wanted the Dodgers to win. Of course they were part of our family.

There was a saying that went around Brooklyn during the time that the Dodgers were about to leave for Los Angeles. It went like this: The three worst people in modern history were Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Walter O'Malley, but not necessarily in that order. The departure of the Dodgers, orchestrated by O'Malley, the team owner, was devastating to the borough and to the city. It left a gaping hole.

Frankly, as a nonpolitical teenager, I found it very difficult to understand how the Dodgers could be moved. This team was the Brooklyn Dodgers. You know — like the Brooklyn Bridge. Like Brooklyn College. Like the borough of Brooklyn. How could you take something away that was an essential part of the life of the people and that meant so much to them? O'Malley's devastating decision to rip the Dodgers out of Brooklyn in order to pursue greater profits on the West Coast was, I suspect, one of my first observations regarding the deficiencies of capitalism.

But my childhood experiences were not just on the streets of Brooklyn.

I will never forget one summer when I was thirteen years old and my parents sent me to the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in Narrowsburg, New York. It was an inexpensive way for kids to get out of the city during the summer. My first summer at the camp was supposed to be four weeks. I came home after two. I was homesick. The next year I was supposed to be there two weeks. I stayed four. I had a great time. The last time I went I stayed for six weeks and cried when I had to come back to the city.

As a kid, I had been in the Cub Scouts, where my mom was a den mother, and later was part of Troop 356 in the Boy Scouts. Our troop went on occasional hikes and cookouts, but it was nothing like summer camp.

Boy Scout camp was an extraordinary experience for me. For the first time in my life I was exposed to the outdoors and a rural way of life: living in a lean-to without a front door, spending nights in a sleeping bag on a straw-filled "mattress," hiking, camping, observing beautiful starry nights for the first time in my life, learning about Indian lore, swimming in the lake, canoeing, having communal meals in a giant mess hall, singing folk songs.

One day, my bunkmate and I were sitting on our beds reading comic books. A rather large black snake slithered across the upper bunk bed on my friend's side of the cabin. The snake was heading down toward his shoulder. We ran like hell.

Quite the experience for a boy from Brooklyn.

Going to Boy Scout camp changed my life. It turned out that I really liked country living, and I never forgot that. I doubt very much that I would have ended up in Vermont, one of the most rural states in the country, if I hadn't gone to Scout camp.

High school for me, James Madison High School, was not as much fun as my days in elementary school. The school was much larger and, unlike PS 197, where I had known almost all the kids for my whole life, there were a lot of new faces. I was a good student in high school, but not a great one. The social studies interested me more than math and science.

I ran for senior class president. I remember pacing up and down the bedroom floor as I worked with my mother on the speech I was going to give in the school auditorium. My main campaign platform called for the high school to adopt a South Korean war orphan. I lost that election. The fellow who won, however, eventually took my idea: Our school "adopted" that child.

One of the first great disappointments in my young life was not making the James Madison High School basketball team, consistently one of the better teams in the city, under the legendary leadership of its longtime coach, Jamie Moskowitz.

How happy I was to have made the junior varsity team in my freshman year. I came home with a beautiful uniform, number 10. If truth be told, I even slept in that silky uniform. But then disaster struck. At a practice early in the season I was told by the coach that I was cut. No junior varsity team, no varsity team in the future, no beautiful uniform. A crushing experience.

I don't remember exactly why, but I then went out for the track and cross-country teams. As a kid, I always had good endurance and could run forever. Track and cross-country were not as sexy as basketball. No large crowds at the meets, not as much attention. But it turned out to be an exciting and meaningful experience for me. I enjoyed it very much and was pretty good at it.

There were long subway rides from Brooklyn to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for the cross-country events. There were the many hundreds of runners at the starting line and, then, after the starter's gun went off, the mad dash into the woods for the two-and-a-half-mile run. There was the smell of the fall leaves on the ground through the deep breaths of a body pushing hard. There was the final kick down the long straightaway to the finish line, passing runners who were even more tired than me. Great experiences that I have never forgotten.


Excerpted from Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders. Copyright © 2016 Bernard Sanders. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Trade Paperback ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Running for President

1 How Do We Turn Out the Way We Do? 7

2 My Political Life in Vermont 26

3 Thinking About Running 48

4 How Do You Run a Presidential Campaign? 86

5 The Campaign Begins 115

6 On the Campaign Trail 129

Part 2 An Agenda for a New America: How We Transform Our Country

1 Defeating Oligarchy 185

2 The Decline of the American Middle Class 206

3 Ending a Rigged Economy 218

4 Health Care for All 318

5 Making Higher Education Affordable 339

6 Combating Climate Change 355

7 Real Criminal Justice Reform 375

8 Immigration Reform Now 390

9 Protecting Our Most Vulnerable 404

10 Corporate Media and the Threat to Our Democracy 420

Conclusion 445

Acknowledgments 449

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Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
ColoradoLad21 More than 1 year ago
This was actually an interesting read. It does make me personally ticked off at the prospect of what could have been however. Still recommend this to anyone who followed Sanders throughout the campaign!
Thomas Garcia More than 1 year ago
Informative, engaging, and thorough. The first half of the book is a reflection on Bernie Sanders' political life and his primary campaign. The second half of the book provides detailed insights into 10 of Sanders' methods of moving toward a more progressive society, including overturning Citizens United, battling climate change, making higher education more affordable, etc. Not only does Sanders present his case, he also uses facts, figures, and historical precedence to back up his claims. This is not just a book for Sanders supporters. Anyone who wants to learn more about some of the most pressing issues that aren't being talked in the mainstream media should pick this up.
Bacardigirl More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT read from a ground-breaking, progressive politician who goes against the grain to fight for what is right in this country. I enjoyed reading about his background; from his childhood to his beginnings in Vermont. Feel the Bern!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Bernie, love the book. I am half way through and can't get enough. I am buying another copy for a gift.
WABower More than 1 year ago
A glimpse of what could have been and what could still be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whether you're a supporter or not, you can't help being inspired by his ideology as this book discusses his campaign and the movement he has created in opening up the eyes of Americans to what is going on in our political system. With supporting facts to back up the issues of wealth inequality, trade, education and healthcare, it puts alot of things in perspective. Definitely a must-read!
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to read Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders. I am/was a huge supporter of Bernie’s campaign for president, so I was interested to hear what he had to say to all of us about next steps. This book was released right after the general election, and while it didn’t necessary state an expectation of the result of the election, it was pretty clear that Bernie was hoping Hillary Clinton would have won. He mentioned a few times about compromises he’d made with her campaign as if they’d be policies we’d be seeing implemented at this point. In that way, this book was slightly outdated as soon as it was published. Sadly. The first part of the book gives Bernie’s history in politics up to the end of his presidential campaign. For me, a supporter, this section was very interesting. I didn’t know much about his early political career, and I enjoyed reading about the presidential campaign from his perspective. But the real meat of this book is the second part, which outlines all of the issues facing America today and Bernie’s plans for solving them. I found this part to be an honest look into the politics of Washington D.C. Sanders exposed many additional horrors that I did not know about our corrupt political system. He covered all of the high points. My main disappointment with this book is that I was hoping to hear some practical things that I could do, as an average American citizen. Most of Sanders solutions to the current crises were to talk about certain legislation that he had proposed or would like to propose in Congress. It didn’t give me any concrete actions that I could take, and so for that reason it didn’t seem like much of Our revolution. But again it could have just been that he was expecting the book to release into a world where Hillary was our president. The audio version (Audible) of this book was terrific. The first part and the last segment about the media and their involvement in the corruption of our government were read by Bernie Sanders himself. The majority of part 2 was read by Mark Ruffalo, who is a huge supporter of Bernie and the Progressive movement (and also happens to be one of my favorite actors). I really enjoyed listening to this book, but it took me a long time to get through at. When I first started it in January, I was still very heartbroken about the election results, and I kept crying while listening. It is so upsetting to think that this amazing man could have been our president. Then once I got into the issue discussion, I could only listen to a little at a time because that was upsetting in a whole new way. I kept getting discouraged about the future of our nation. If you’re looking for a current-state analysis of the nation, I highly encourage you to read this book – and maybe just skip part 1 if you’re not a fan of Bernie Sanders. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-our-revolution-by-bernie-sanders/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book, Bernie was our only hope.
JenGlass More than 1 year ago
Bernie is everything that is right about politics. If we are lucky, we'll get a second shot in 2020. The book is as endearing as he is himself. Genuinely a man of the people. God bless Bernie Sanders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
etain369 More than 1 year ago
An insightful book for anybody who followed the 2016 Campaign,who wants to know how the process works(or doesn'), and how to actually make America great.
theTafili More than 1 year ago
Bernie Sanders is known to be straightforward and to the point. The reader gets to understand the man himself and the issues he fights for. If one is ever curious to know how a Bernie presidency would look like this book would be an accurate representation of that. The book is organized into two parts. Part I being a memoir of his life in politics and outside of it. He shares memories of his childhood growing up poor in Brooklyn, how it affected his community and his family, the events during college that helped shape his world view, the struggles he had faced running for mayor and for senator in Vermont. He goes into detail with the events that led up to his 2016 campaign, his experiences on the campaign trail and the aftermath of his run for office. By the time you finish reading this part you should have a general overview of his policies he ran on and how powerful it resinated with his supporters. Part II is more of a manual, a how-to-guide, on the ground work that he believes needs to be implemented in order to change this country for the better. In my eyes it is the Progressive Handbook, giving progressives a clear understanding on the status of the country and how to go about fixing it. He lays out strong arguments on how to defeat the oligarchy, explains why the middle class is shrinking and how that is tied into the rigged economy which by far is his longest chapter. He explains why there is a need for Universal Health Care, how and why to make education affordable, and why we need to combat climate change. He goes into detail about criminal justice reform and the need to overhaul our immigration policy. He sheds light onto the need to protect the most vulnerable citizens in our country. He ends his book talking about the corporate media and how it threatens our democracy by being owned by a handful of billionaires. He generously provides graphs and statistics throughout all of these chapters to help support his claims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half of the book covers Sander's presidential campaign and the second half addresses the problems we face, such as inequities in wealth distribution, taxes, political clout, poverty, racism, media, climate control etc and Sander's solutions. The book was an eye opener as to the problems we face, but as an avid reader of non-fiction I was disappointed that the book did not contain and index or a list of sources that I could review to validate Sander's statements.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barf! A book by a rich socialist who wants to make us all a part of his government plantation!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Self serving, full of pats on the back and a lot of hot air. Useless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Socialism doesn't work, & he hasn't figured that out yet. Socialism doesn't work & Bernie hasn't figured that out yet.