Bernie Sanders Book Club

By Jason Boog 

Last Friday, U.S. Senator and author Bernie Sanders (Vermont, I) mounted an eight-and-a-half-hour-long filibuster to protest the tax deal negotiated between Republicans in Congress and Barack Obama‘s administration.

You can now read the entire 124-page speech online. We combed the entire speech, collecting the Senator’s scattered references to books. Follow the links below to read excerpts from each title–the original quotes follow below.

1. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
2. Third World America by Arianna Huffington
3. Rebooting the American Dream by Tom Hartman
4. Richistan by Robert Frank

Here’s one quote from the speech: “I love the book, The Millionaire Next Door. It talks about how it is a myth that most millionaires in America have inherited their money. The fact is, we have created such a great country over 250 years. We have actually found the way for poor people to go from nothing to huge wealth and to create a life-changing opportunity for their children and grandchildren. We celebrate it, write movies about it, and our libraries are full of books about it. There is nothing wrong with that.”

He continued: For this I am indebted to a very fine book written by an old friend of mine, Arianna Huffington. The title of her book is “Third World America.” She used that word because basically the theme of her book is, if we do not get our act together in terms of infrastructure, in terms of education, in terms of health care, that is where we are headed. We are headed in the direction of being a Third World nation.

Sanders added: “When you think about that, when I think about the books that I read when I was in elementary school–I remember there were pictures up there. I don’t know if you remember these pictures. There were pictures where workers were demonstrating, and they said: We want a 40-hour workweek. Do you remember seeing those pictures? We want a 40-hour workweek. That was back in the early 1900s.”

He included a friend’s book: “A very good friend of mine and I do a radio show every Friday afternoon–I am afraid I missed it today–Tom Hartman. Tom is the author of a number of wonderful books. In his latest book, which is called Rebooting the American Dream, 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country, Tom writes and he talks about lobbying, which is an issue we have to deal with in this country. He says, on page 104: ‘Given how lucrative lobbying is as an investment, it has become a huge business.’

Finally, he referenced this book: “As Robert Frank wrote in his book Richistan: ‘The wealthiest people in this country accumulated so much wealth that they have been competing to see who could own the largest private yacht, who could own the most private jets, who could own the most expensive cars, jewelry, artwork, et cetera.'”