A little background is important for those that maybe don’t know who Bernie Sanders is. He is a Senator from Vermont that ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination during the 2016 election. Despite running on the Democratic ticket, Bernie is actually an Independent that is very left leaning. If you’re not familiar with Bernie Sanders or have never heard him speak, then I recommend his speech for the 2017 People’s Summit.
Now that that is out of the way, the first big elephant in the room of course are bipartisan politics. You don’t necessarily have to agree with Bernie or his stances to appreciate this book as an introduction to politics and how to become politically involved, something that is sorely lacking in the American educational system. Normally when I see books discussing politics they are either academic texts that can be a little intimidating to approach or politician memoirs. In contrast, The Guide to Political Revolution Bernie outlines ways to mobilize and speak out on several different issues.
Each chapter is dedicated to a specific issue which, anyone familiar with Bernie’s campaign or has heard one of his speeches will probably be familiar with his stances. These include everything from big banks and the economy to global warming. He explains each of these social issues in a way that is easy to digest and provides a glossary at the back of the book explaining political and economic terms, such as 401(K)s, Equity Funds, and Tax Havens. At the end of each chapter are sections that provide website sources for those wanting to learn more about a specific issue including government websites or links to insightful articles written by leaders in science and economics. There are how-to guides on how to do things such as calling one’s state representatives to voice your thoughts on different issues, or on how and which charities to donate to in order to help various causes.
“It is my observation that the current generation of young people is the smartest, most idealistic, and least prejudiced generation in the modern history of the United States. This is a generation that is prepared to think big and move this country in a very different direction than we have been traveling for years.”
The book is also designed really well, filled to the brim with info graphics that are eye catching. I thought that they really illustrate some of the points that he makes and it was a definite highlight. The book is also well cited with references to numerous studies conducted by researchers, even some from the Ivy League.
Now I do have a few critiques, one of which is the inclusion of a bunch of Bernie’s tweets which just seem silly to me. Many are good tweets and have powerful messages sure, but they seemed like unnecessary fluff. There are also a lot of statistics which will severely date the book as numbers change over time. I found the occasional note on where to find updated statistics in some of the end of chapter resource sections but it doesn’t cover every section, and there are a lot of stats in this book.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, though I’ll admit that I’m biased being someone that is a left leaning independent myself. I was really happy to see that this book really was a well thought out and detailed “how to” guide presented in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Even folks that utterly disagree with Bernie’s political ideology could probably get some use out of the end of chapter guides and sources.
It’s good to see a book written specificly for teens because it is important for young adults, being America’s future voters, to know the issues and know their rights as citizens and how they can change the country in ways that would benefit their generation, rather than letting older generations control the trajectory of their future.
Title: Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution
Author: Bernie Sanders
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
In the Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, Independent congressman, presidential candidate and activist Bernie Sanders continues his fight against the imbalances in the nation’s status quo, and shows you how to make a difference to effect the changes America―and the world―need to create a better tomorrow.
Throughout the Presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders promised voters a future to believe in through his progressive platform and a vision for America worth fighting for. This vision calls for an economic, environmental, health care, and social justice revolution beyond the stagnant agendas of Democrat and Republican politicians to build an equitable future for all Americans―especially the younger generation that will inherit the consequences of decisions made now.
Inside this practical and inspiring guide to effecting change in today’s world, you’ll learn how to:
· Understand and navigate the current system of policy and government
· Work to change the system to reflect your values and to protect our society’s most vulnerable
· Organize for the causes you care about most
· Resources for further reading and organizations to get involved with
With more than two decades of Washington D.C. insider knowledge and experience, Senator Sanders knows how to fight and change the system from within, a system desperately in need of reform in health care, immigration, taxes, higher education, climate change, and criminal justice.
The political revolution is just beginning. What role will you play?