Is progressive politics possible in the United States today? Can a democratic socialist take on a 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". This volume gives the inside story on Bernie Sander's discussions about class politics with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office, his battles with the Byzantine politics of the House floor and his encounters on the campaign trail in Vermont. It provides a critique both of a growing rightward movement in US politics and the falure 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 uncovers the powerful forces which have provided 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 saving to rebuild America's human and physical infrastructure. This is the story of one man's battle against the chimerical choice presented by the Republicans and the Democrats. The path which Congressman Bernie Sanders has taken must be followed by others before US democracy can be revived.
Publisher: Verso Books