Where We Go From Here

Just after finishing Jeff Weaver’s How Bernie Won – and with Bernie Sanders’s 2016 book Our Revolution in mind – I decided it was time to read Bernie’s latest publication, Where We Go From Here. Again, full disclosure: I supported Bernie Sanders during his 2016 run for president, and I’m supporting him now in his 2020 campaign. His politics very closely align with mine, and I’ve been happy to see how he has sparked a growing progressive movement across the United States. However, regardless of your current opinions on Bernie Sanders, I encourage you to read his book. If nothing else, at least you’ll have an honest account of where he stands. It’s also a quick and enlightening read that gets straight to the point.

Where We Go From Here, in many ways, picks up right where Our Revolution and How Bernie Won left off. Bernie shares brief accounts of his conceding the nomination to Hillary Clinton and the efforts their two campaigns agreed upon in summer 2016. He rallied for her and did everything within his power to encourage people to vote for her. Unfortunately, despite winning the popular vote, she did not become president. Instead, we got the disaster that is Trump.

From there, Bernie outlines his views on the issues facing America today and how they can be solved. Each chapter – usually only a few pages long – appears like a journal entry. They flow in a chronological order, following various events that happen between 2016 and 2018. Bernie uses these dates and events as anchors for different issues, ranging from foreign policy and our huge military budget to the need for universal healthcare and tuition-free college, from racial justice and immigration reform to workers’ rights and a growing progressive movement.

In chapter after chapter, Bernie reiterates his many talking points. He provides stories and examples to illustrate the issues and his views, and he goes into some detail stating what needs to be done to fix these problems – and indeed, how he has fought to do just that. It’s not as exhaustive as Our Revolution; at only 266 pages, it’s a quicker read made up of bite-sized chapters. Rather, it’s an easy-to-read overview of the plights facing the US today and Bernie’s positions in resolving them.

I finished Where We Go From Here over the course of two days. Between bus rides from Limerick to Dublin and back and the first 2 hours of my plane ride home from Dublin to Seattle, I raced through the book pretty quickly. It’s a light read, in spite of the heavy topics, and one that left me feeling more empowered and hopeful than ever. Yes, we are living in troubled times with some of the worst leaders blocking a path forward. But I have faith that things will get better – especially if Bernie’s 2020 campaign goes well.

Regardless of your politics or opinions on Bernie Sanders, Where We Go From Here is a book you shouldn’t miss. It won’t take too much of your time, but it may change how you think about things. In all likelihood, you may find yourself agreeing with him more than you’d expect.

Rating: 10 out of 5.

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