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Outsider in the White House summary

Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman

The political autobiography of the insurgent presidential candidate

4.3 (24 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Outsider in the White House by Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman is a memoir that chronicles Bernie’s journey from an activist in Vermont to a US senator, and his fight for progressive politics. It offers an insightful look into the political establishment from an outsider’s perspective.

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    Outsider in the White House
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    The financial hardships of Sanders’s upbringing taught him how greatly economics can affect people’s lives.

    Bernard Sanders was born in 1941, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. During his childhood, money was tight; his family managed to stay above the poverty line, but Sanders’s parents often fought about the best uses for the little money they had.

    These conditions, however, taught Sanders the value of money.

    From his mother, Dorothy, for example, he learned the importance of being thrifty. One day, instead of shopping at an inexpensive supermarket, Sanders bought groceries from a smaller, local store. When he got home, his mother scolded him, stressing the importance of frugality.

    Sanders’s father, Elias, had lived through the Great Depression, so he knew what it was like to get by in hard economic times.

    Originally from Poland, Elias worked hard as a paint salesman to provide for his family, and his strong work ethic sometimes led to conflicts between father and son.

    For instance, when Sanders first applied to college, his father initially opposed the idea. Elias thought it wiser for Sanders to start making money rather than continuing his education.

    It was Sanders’s older brother, Larry, who helped turn their parents’ common-sense economics into concrete political ideas.

    At Brooklyn College, Larry was a chairman in the Democratic Party’s liberal-minded Young Democrats group, and every once in a while he would bring young Sanders along with him to meetings. During this time, Larry also introduced his brother to progressive political literature and newspapers.

    So, by the time Sanders entered Brooklyn College, in 1959, he was well informed and keenly interested in politics, economics and history.

    These interests and ambitions continued to blossom a year later when he transferred to the University of Chicago to study political science. Sanders immersed himself in literature in the school’s basement library, spending countless hours reading everything he could get his hands on.

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    What is Outsider in the White House about?

    Outsider in the White House (2015) tells the story of Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate and US senator. From marching for civil rights in the 1960s to campaigning against big money in politics as a 2016 presidential candidate, Sanders has always been at the forefront of US left-wing politics. First published in 1997 as Outsider in the House, this updated version of Bernie Sanders’s autobiography traces his lifelong fight for social justice and economic fairness.

    Outsider in the White House Review

    Outsider in the White House (2015) is Bernie Sanders' bold account of his political journey and his vision for a better America. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a rare perspective on American politics from an outsider who fought tirelessly for progressive ideals.
    • The book dives into the issues that matter to everyday people, such as income inequality, healthcare, and climate change.
    • With clarity and conviction, Sanders presents his ideas and solutions, sparking thought and inspiring action.

    Best quote from Outsider in the White House

    Although I was the candidate of a minor party, people were listening to what I had to say and they often supported my positions.

    —Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman
    example alt text

    Who should read Outsider in the White House?

    • Anyone interested in the 2016 US presidential election
    • Students of political science or political history
    • US voters looking for information on a presidential candidate

    About the Author

    Bernie Sanders is a US politician who describes himself as a democratic socialist. After four terms as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders served as a congressman. Currently a senator, he is running for the office of President of the United States.

    Huck Gutman, a professor of English at the University of Vermont, is an American academic and political advisor.

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    Outsider in the White House FAQs 

    What is the main message of Outsider in the White House?

    The main message of Outsider in the White House is a compelling account of Bernie Sanders' political career and his vision for a more equitable America.

    How long does it take to read Outsider in the White House?

    The reading time for Outsider in the White House varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Outsider in the White House a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Outsider in the White House is an insightful read that sheds light on Bernie Sanders' political journey and his ideas for a progressive future.

    Who is the author of Outsider in the White House?

    The author of Outsider in the White House is Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman.

    What to read after Outsider in the White House?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Outsider in the White House, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters
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    • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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