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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Where We Go From Here
Two Years in the Resistance,

by Bernie Sanders

(Click for Amazon book review)

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

This book is a "diary" -- notes on several dozen events, in chronological order, from June 2016 until August 2018. Diaries are hard to read because they don't associate events together in a meaningful way -- you have to read several dates in order to reveal the outcome.

For example, Bernie describes a struggle against Disney Corporation in to chapters, one dated June 2, 2018 (pp. 216-222), and the other six chapters later, dated July 27, 2018 (pp. 245-7). The first chapter describes the struggle to unionize Disney workers at the California Disneyland, leaving off with "I will continue doing everything I can to work with the unions there in demanding decent wages, benefits, and working conditions at Disneyland." (p. 219) The reader is not informed of the outcome of Bernie's visit with Disney workers, or even that there might be an outcome at all, until 26 pages later, when Bernie writes, "Today, union workers at Disneyland voted to approve a new contract, which will lift the minimum wage at the theme park from $11 an hour to $13.25 immediately." (p. 245) In between, on those 26 intervening pages, are descriptions of another union battle for truck drivers (p. 220); a progressive victory in a Maryland primary election (p. 223); Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination (p. 227); the CIA's report on Russian interference in the US election (p. 234); and a visit to Kansas with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (p. 238) -- then the Disneyland outcome.

That sort of hodgepodge of events is how diaries are written -- and indicative of "a day in the life" of a Senator. But why burden the reader with making sense of such a hodgepodge? Readers have to struggle to refer back to the original Disneyland event when reading about it the second time around, because there is no topical index (it only lists people's names), and the chapter headings are often cryptic (the second Disneyland chapter is entitled "A Step Forward for Economic Justice"). Our best guess is hinted at in the subtitle of the book: "Two Years in the Resistance" -- we suppose that this book is intended as "two years in the life" of a Senator.

Sometimes there are heavy-duty policy chapters -- because sometimes Senators undertake heavy-duty policy. For example, by far the longest chapter in the book is "September 21, 2017: A Progressive Foreign Policy" (pp. 88-110). It describes Bernie's anti-war history, then reprints, in its entirety, Bernie's anti-war speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri (that's where Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech, Bernie points out). Now, why did Bernie include the entire speech? This speech is available online (for example on vox.com), and there must have been plenty of other speeches that Bernie delivered during this two year period. Certainly, this was an IMPORTANT speech -- and we excerpted a good amount of it, because we like heavy-duty policy speeches! -- but why reprint the whole thing? Maybe the purpose is to describe the process -- how the speech got thought of; what went into deciding its content -- but that's all omitted -- just the anti-war history and then some press reviews afterwards saying how important it was.

There is an alternative style in which to write books -- the usual method that authors use, with topics organized by topic, instead of chronologically. Bernie did exactly that in ANOTHER book written in this same period, Guide to Political Revolution, published 8/29/17 (that's just about in the middle of the two years covered by the diary). Reading a topic-oriented book, in comparison to the chronological book, is MUCH easier to read. It provides the "big picture" of the outcome of Bernie's analysis, and the policy prescription that Bernie recommends -- and is delightful to read, with graphics and charts and hand-drawn notes galore. The diary book is all about the "little picture."

We suppose that the "little picture" is the purpose of publishing a diary. Readers can explore the issues that Bernie encountered, in the same order in which Bernie encountered them, and experience the process of coming to a conclusion. Maybe some Bernie fans will enjoy shining a spotlight on the process and the daily life -- but I simply found it tiresome to read and over-long.

The only value of this book would be to read it in CONJUNCTION with the Guide to Political Revolution -- which we did. Readers interested in the details can refer to the diary when they want to see the process that inspired those delightful hand-drawn graphics. But except for hard-core Bernie supporters who desire that sort of cross-referencing, this book is just a pain to read.

--Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, jesse@ontheissues.org, March 2019

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Bernie Sanders: 2016 election is about ending decline of the middle class.
Civil Rights
    Bernie Sanders: No ambiguity in condemning white supremacists.
    Bernie Sanders: Great Recession caused by Wall Street greed & recklessness.
    Bernie Sanders: Disallow stashing corporate profits overseas to avoid taxes.
    Democratic Party: Disallow stashing corporate profits overseas to avoid taxes.
    Bernie Sanders: Bail reform: 65% of county & city inmates are "unconvicted".
    Bernie Sanders: End mass incarceration & reform criminal justice.
    Democratic Party: End mass incarceration & reform criminal justice.
    Bernie Sanders: Why is marijuana treated legally equal to heroin?
Energy & Oil
    Bernie Sanders: Climate change is issue for entire international community.
    Bernie Sanders: Tax carbon, methane, and other greenhouse gases.
    Democratic Party: Tax carbon, methane, and other greenhouse gases.
Foreign Policy
    Bernie Sanders: Development aid isn't charity; it avoids military later.
    Bernie Sanders: Foreign policy is directly related to military policy.
    Bernie Sanders: UN is bureaucratic, but does enormously important work.
    Bernie Sanders: 1991: We give $7B to feudalistic dictatorships in Mideast.
Government Reform
    Bernie Sanders: Mainstream media focuses on gossip, lies, & personality.
    Bernie Sanders: Unity Reform Commission: reduce power of superdelegates.
    Democratic Party: Unity Reform Commission: reduce power of superdelegates.
    Bernie Sanders: Automatic voter registration; holiday for Election Day.
    Democratic Party: Automatic voter registration; holiday for Election Day.
Gun Control
    Bernie Sanders: Applaud students taking action to prevent school shootings.
Health Care
    Bernie Sanders: ObamaCare insured 20 million, but didn't go far enough.
    Bernie Sanders: No country except USA lets drug companies charge any price.
    Bernie Sanders: $12B more for Federally Qualified Health Centers.
    Harry Reid: $12B for more community health centers.
Homeland Security
    Bernie Sanders: Undertake comprehensive audit of Department of Defense.
    Bernie Sanders: Global War on Terror has undermined our moral standards.
    Bernie Sanders: Accompany minimum wage increase with pay equity for women.
    Bernie Sanders: Fight for $15: worker wages so low they need food stamps!
    Bernie Sanders: $15/hour minimum wage indexed to inflation.
    Democratic Party: $15/hour minimum wage indexed to inflation.
Principles & Values
    Bernie Sanders: All real change comes from grassroots activism.
    Bernie Sanders: DNC tilted primary in favor of Hillary Clinton.
    Bernie Sanders: 8 million contributions to his campaign, averaging $27.
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Resigned as DNC chair after pre-determining Hillary.
    Democratic Party: OpEd: DNC tilted primary in favor of Hillary Clinton.
    Bernie Sanders: Fake news comes from multinational media conglomerates.
War & Peace
    Bernie Sanders: Protect Iranian nuke deal; without it, Iran is unlimited.
    Bernie Sanders: Why would anyone trust US if we abrogated Iran nuke treaty?
    Bernie Sanders: Iraq War discredited vision of benevolent global hegemony.
    Bernie Sanders: 1990s Iraq invasion laid groundwork for more wars in region.
Welfare & Poverty
    Bernie Sanders: Puerto Rico nearly bankrupt after Great Recession.

The above quotations are from Where We Go From Here
Two Years in the Resistance,

by Bernie Sanders

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Apr 10, 2019