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The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America
by Jonathan Tasini
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
Jonathan Tasini is a progressive writer with several progressive books under his belt; this book makes the progressive case for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.
The format of the book presents a passage from a Bernie's speech, or a Senate press release, or a published interview (plus a few interviews of Bernie by the author of this book), and then provides some explanation about the passage. It's hard for us to criticize that format, since it's exactly the same as OnTheIssues.org uses, both in our books and on our website.
The key shortcoming of this book is that it is intentionally partisan: Tasini only presents one side of the argument. There is no "side-by-side comparison" like OnTheIssues does, and there are no debate excerpts either, where an opponent criticizes Bernie directly. That means it's ok as an introduction for supporters so they can understand Bernie's positions, but won't help those supporters defend Bernie's positions against critics. There are few critics in this book; you'll need to look at OnTheIssues to see those!
Furthermore, because this book only provides reasons for supporting Bernie, there is nothing about how Bernie's issues have "evolved" over time ("evolved" is the political modern term for "changed my mind"). Certainly, Bernie has "evolved" on far fewer issues than has Hillary, but Bernie DID evolve on gun rights. While in the House, Bernie was a gun control moderate, and (as Hillary points out in many debates) Bernie voted for several gun rights bills. Since the presidential campaign began, Bernie has toed the liberal line on strong gun control.
Bottom line: a great book for Bernie supporters; not a great book for anyone else.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, January 2016
by Jonathan Tasini.
Page last edited: Dec 17, 2018