An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works; and really doesn't. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Elizabeth Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class, and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.
The Senator from Massachusetts tells a few stories of her life growing up scraping the bottom of the middle class barrel in Oklahoma before moving on to college with a scholarship and law school. She shares how she was drawn into bankruptcy law and eventually to Washington D.C. and the worse banking and housing crisis since the Great Depression. She talks cold turkey about politics and being a newcomer to D.C. and having the idea to form the Consumer Protection Agency, and her great disappoint at not being appointed its first director because she was “too radioactive.”.
She describes being a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and about meeting American’s across the country and asking the question: Who is the American government working for?
Ultimately, she notes, “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOS—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs –still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.” She wants to celebrate success. But she, like so many of us, doesn’t want the game to be rigged.
I had the great opportunity to see the Senator speak in D.C. and I wanted to shout out at the end, “Run, Elizabeth, Run,” and by that I mean for President. She would have my vote.
Preaching to the choir (I never read opposition papers; why should I expect others to do so?), I doubt Warren changes any minds. But the numbers are too big for many folks to comprehend the shameful way we have allowed lobbyists to manipulate our system. For those like me, this book broke it down into comprehendible bites.
This is the tenth book she has published, so it's not some ghost-written ripped-from-the-headlines piece of expedient crap. Elizabeth Warren is a good writer and a GREAT HUMAN BEING. This is a good read.
The book is an account of the life of Senator Elizabeth Warren from her girlhood days in Oklahoma, through her teaching law at Harvard, to her election as Senator from Massachusetts.
If you think everything is "all right" with our country or if you think everything is "a mess" this book will open your eyes and mind to the issues "We The People" face now and in the years ahead. We all owe Elizabeth Warren a debt of gratitude for what she has accomplished to date. She is an important voice in Congress for the people of Massachusetts and the rest of us as well.
We need more like her in Congress.
Much of the book was about Warren's involvement in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which got a little boring, but I also know it's very important. I slogged through the parts about meetings and legislation, but by doing so, I gained a little bit more understanding about what led to the most recent financial crisis. Nothing surprising here, but big banks make horrible, selfish decisions, give A LOT of money to politicians, who are then too afraid to do anything to help the majority of people, and often no one is held accountable when things go wrong.
I missed the viral video going around in 2011 where Warren said this...
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
I'm glad there are people like Warren who have made some important changes and are still fighting the good fight.
All that being said, I really hesitate to give this book four stars, because it wasn't that enjoyable to read, I really didn't learn that much, and I never really wanted to pick up that book...I just felt like I needed to give it four stars.
I loved this book. Elizabeth Warren is an amazing woman who stands for principles I believe should be the vision for my country, the United States of America. Oddly enough, Senator Warren's sentiments seem to echo exactly what presidential nominee Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, is saying, but without his repetitive stump speech clichés. I know at this date that Senator Sanders most likely will not secure a presidential nomination due to the great number of Super PAC delegates not supporting him. .
I have taken the time to look into how American presidential primaries are run and see clearly how, as Elizabeth Warren says, the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy. It gives me hope that she won the office of Massachusetts senator. It pains me to see the psychological suffering she had to endure in order to gain this office.
I very much appreciate what Senator Warren has shared with us, her readers, and wish her continued success in all of her endeavors.
"All we want is a country where everyone pays a fair share, a country where we build opportunities for all of us, a country where everyone plays by the same rules and everyone is held accountable."
Fight on, Senator Warren!
Very partisan only has something positive to say about republicans when she can follow it up with a negative.
Dems are almost always praised.
Complains about the lobbyists for the banks and makes it seem like it is just her and one other guy fighting them all, glosses over the lobbyists on the left.
The police comparison to her gets old quick. Did she want to be a real cop at some point? From her description it sounds like she doesn't really get what cops do.
Too much fluff -descriptions of buildings, rooms, etc. It goes along with the "lil ole me....in Washington? "
Her naïveté in how Washington works (people actually had the nerve to disagree with her!!) is either false and written in for the book or she really was clueless about how government works. Pretty scary for someone who is teaching future lawyers!
I was reading the book the whole time thinking "where did this number (or fact) come from"? I wish there were footnotes or end notes. It wasn't until I got to the end that I saw she had written notes on each chapter. Although she does give the page number for each note, while reading the book, you have no idea if there is an end note for that particular page. An indication that there was more information in the back of the book would have been helpful. I glanced through the end notes and many (not all) that I read really gave no further information just more opinion,
All in all this book reads like a giant campaign speech and not a book of substance discussing an issue. I can not decide if the author was that naive or if she wrote is such a simplistic style because she thought the reader wouldn't be able to understand. Someone is clueless, but is it the author or the targeted reader? Either way, it doesn't bode well for her.
Warren, of course, is not "most politicians," and perhaps not "most professors," either. Her first venture into electoral politics was to challenge incumbent Scott Brown, and she beat him like a drum. Not that she describes it that way; she seems to have been genuinely surprised by her margin of victory.
Warren grew up the youngest of four children, the only one still at home when her father's heart attack and subsequent impaired ability to work derailed the family's modest financial security. In spare, clear terms, she describes the struggles of the years that followed, including the plain and painful fact that her dream of going to college and becoming a school teacher were apparently killed by the fact that her parents couldn't possibly afford to send her to college. She has to rescue her own dream by finding a scholarship she could win.
And after that, nothing goes the way she expects it. Early marriage, delayed education, the frustrations of being a young mother, an almost accidental entry into teaching law. An interest in bankruptcy law inspired by her parents' struggles, and further twists and turns leading to the determination and the opportunity to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. From there, I suspect anyone who is interested enough to be reading this knows at least the broad outlines of how that led to her decision to run for the Senate from Massachusetts. The details, both professional and her intertwined family life, are fascinating and compelling, though.
(I'm probably revealing nothing by saying that my politics are closer to Warren's than Brown's. However, he didn't help himself with his childish and bizarre attack on Warren's Native American ancestry. I'm another nearly sheet-white, light-eyed American with a proud family history including Native American ancestry. No, Mr. Brown, you can't tell by looking at someone, and no one appointed you arbiter of who gets to talk about their ancestry.)
Warren's accounts of meeting with voters and the stresses and strains of the campaign she never expected to run are particularly compelling.
I bought this book.