Why Bernie Sanders Matters
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may be the least political person in politics—a brusque, unpolished, Jewish Socialist from Brooklyn with deep-seated convictions and distaste for small talk. He is also, at seventy-four, the rising star of the Democratic party, whose underdog bid for the presidential nomination has hit the marks of a serious contender: He’s competitive with, and in some cases leading, Hillary Clinton in early state polls. He’s closed the fundraising gap, and is drawing crowds of thousands to campaign rallies. Why? Because where most candidates are calculating and rehearsed, Sanders is frank, authentic, and impassioned. For thirty years, he has spoken out against income inequality, environmental injustice, and privatized healthcare. Now—amid an ever-widening chasm between the rich and the rest, and growing voter disenchantment—the country is listening. With reporting from inside the campaign, personal relationships with Sanders’s friends and colleagues, and meticulous research, noted reporter Harry Jaffe offers an engaging, insightful portrait of the ultimate outsider candidate, charting Sanders’s course from Brooklyn to Burlington, and now to Des Moines and beyond. Within the untold narrative of Sanders’s origins and political development, he also examines the growth of the progressive movement, and the recent developments—including the Occupy movement, the Great Recession, and the rise of the millennial generation—that have shifted Sanders’s views from fringe to focal point. At once a captivating biography, and a thought-provoking window into the contemporary political landscape, this will become the defining account of a pivotal moment in American history.