Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution

Book review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
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Succinct intro to progressive politics and participation.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

While Sanders' political program clearly has an ideological agenda, the book nonetheless contains a wealth of facts, figures, tables, and infographics that explain many of the crucial debates in American policy, including those over tax reform, health care, access to higher education, and ways to address climate change. 

Positive Messages

"If we are to successfully address the enormous problems facing our country and planet, we need to understand that democracy is not a spectator sport."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bernie Sanders' long record of public service and consistently standing up for poor and working people, as well as his impressive grassroots organizing in the 2016 presidential campaign, make him a uniquely admirable figure in American political life, whether you agree with him or not.


Major corporations and other moneyed interests are targeted by name throughout the book as examples of the dangers of unrestrained capitalism.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution is an accessible, informative, and teen-friendly presentation of the basic policies and ideas of one of the leading voices in progressive politics. However, the book is also intended as a practical roadmap to political participation and activism, encouraging young people to get involved in the democratic process through concrete steps offered throughout.

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What's the story?

Coming on the heels of his surprisingly formidable run at the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, this Independent senator and hero of the progressive movement presents BERNIE SANDERS GUIDE TO POLITICAL REVOLUTION as a way to encourage young people to get informed, get engaged, and get involved in the political process. Each chapter addresses a major issue facing contemporary society, tackling a wide range of topics including higher education, affordable health care, private prisons, the opioid drug crisis, tax reform, corporate greed, immigration, and climate justice. Sanders presents compelling, data-driven evidence in each case to show why he believes in a progressive approach to combating inequality, then offers concrete steps that citizens and representatives can take to enact positive change. Throughout the book, he gives links to further reading and tells young readers what specific steps they can take to participate in politics.

Is it any good?

This short book is an excellent primer for anyone interested in the major issues facing American society, regardless of whether they agree with Bernie's approach or not. Even people who follow politics closely and are familiar with Sanders' core ideas will find the concepts here presented in a way that's straightforward and easy-to-read, with lots of direct evidence to support his arguments.

The paths to participation he lays out are a powerful reminder of the rights and responsibilities of all citizens in a democracy, an especially powerful message in a time of extreme political polarization. This book grapples with big questions and takes a strongly opinionated stance on the best available solutions, but no matter your political preferences, these are issues facing all Americans. Encouraging young people to get informed and get involved is something everyone can get behind, no matter what one thinks of Sanders' specific platform and proposals.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how young people can get involved in politics by taking the steps laid out in Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution. How can they get involved in the process before they're old enough to vote? What's the role of youth culture in American politics?

  • Much has been made of the fact that in the 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders attracted a huge following among Millennials. Why do you think his platform was and is so appealing to this generation?

  • Bernie Sanders claims that for meaningful change to be possible in the government, the United States must first undergo a "political revolution." What does he mean by this, and why is the issue of money in politics so crucial to his vision?

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