Outsider in the House: A Political Autobiography

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Verso, Sep 17, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 244 pages
Bernie Sanders is the first Independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years, and the only Independent ever elected to four consecutive terms. This book recounts his unique political progress from socialist Mayor of Burlington to a leader of the fight in Congress against the Republican majority. Sanders places the 1996 Congressional race in his home state Vermont at the center of his story, capturing the drama and tension of an election targeted by the Republican National Committee. The Republicans' campaign included massive negative advertising and the hiring of a private detective to dig up dirt on their opponent. Sanders responded with straightforward opposition to the Contract with America, and a positive message. He won with a substantially increased majority and 55% of the vote in a three-way race. On the Hill, Sanders chairs the House Progressive Caucus, now 58 members strong, which helped to spearhead the successful opposition to Newt Gingrich. He describes his one-on-one meetings with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office where discussions ranged over the need to raise the minimum wage, the role of the corporate media and farming in Vermont. Sanders continues to take the fight to the Democrats as well as the Republicans, insisting that the two party system fails to represent working people in America, most of whom don't vote. Sanders' vivid descriptions of the battles raging in Congress over the Gulf War, NAFTA, health care and welfare reform reveal the powerful forces behind government that have produced the most inequitable distribution of wealth in American history. The top one percent of Americans now own more of the nation's wealth than the bottom ninety.Sanders and the Progressive Caucus respond with a positive strategy for Congress, offering an Alternative Budget which cuts' military spending and corporate welfare and uses the savings made to rebuild America for the benefit of all its citizens. Here, in a passionate and personal
 

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Outsider in the House

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What's it like to be the odd-man out in Congress? Sanders, the first independent elected to the House in 40 years, sheds some light on running for and serving in the House. Mayor of Burlington ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
You Have to Begin Somewhere
7
Socialism in One City
45
The Long March Forward
77
We Win Some Victories
97
The Scapegoating Congress 727
127
Getting Around Vermont
159
The Final Push
193
Where Do We Go From Here?
219
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

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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