Who is Bernie Sanders? We see his name in headlines, hear it on TV and radio, and constantly monitor his movement in social media. His presence in the American political sphere has gained attention over the past months. After all, Sanders is a presidential candidate who has called himself a “democratic socialist,” a marked difference compared to that of other contenders. However, who is this Vermontian senator, and what does he have to offer the U.S.?
Okla Elliott, the current Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois, is a progressive activist with a BA degree in philosophy, a legal studies certificate from Purdue University, and an MFA in creative writing. He answers many questions about the Vermontian senator in his latest book, Bernie Sanders: The Essential Guide.
Elliott’s book, defined by the fourth word of its title, should be read by everyone who desires to understand the leader of the #FeelTheBern movement and its political, historical, and philosophical context in contemporary America. The guide is an excellent read for Bernie Sanders supporters, as it is fact-filled with detailed information regarding his perspective on both domestic and foreign policy.
The topics this guide covers are vast, and include campaign finance reform, environmental policy, and infrastructure. Yet, the book also gives insight into Bernie Sanders’ personal life, leadership, and political identity so that his supporters and non-supporters are provided with grounded understanding. The page-turner’s pithy language make for a pleasing reading experience, especially in today’s political muddle.
I am neither an expert in American politics nor in books about public officials. As a college student, I greatly appreciate when a book about current affairs is fact-checked and easily readable. I believe this is a riveting read for all of those who see Bernie Sanders in the newspapers and do not fully comprehend his policies or the goals of the #FeelTheBern movement.
I am open to other writings about current presidential candidates, and I recommend that you be open too; after all, it is better to vote for the president when you are fully informed about the possible options. For those who already #FeelTheBern, Elliott recommends the following: “Keep up the fight. Bernie still has a shot at winning, but if Clinton takes the nomination, don’t shuffle home dejectedly and sulk. Get right back out there and fight for justice and equality and so forth. Sanders is an amazing man, but he’s just one man. We all have to stick together and work for a better world.”