Book Review by Laura L. Klure
All Americans deserve to have “A Fighting Chance,” and this is the central theme of a new book by Senator Elizabeth Warren. This lady tells the hard truth about our economy and our government!
Warren grew up in a somewhat troubled family, where her parents struggled to maintain low-income jobs. She was fortunate to receive a college scholarship, and believes that access to public higher education should be affordable for all students. When she started working as an attorney, she became increasingly concerned about some of our laws and government policies. She served in various positions before being elected to the United States Senate, representing Massachusetts.
The book tells about the development of her philosophies about government and uses of tax money, with serving the common people soaring to the top of her priorities. She describes a number of cases where big businesses and extremely wealthy people got their way by subterfuge and downright lies. She repeatedly laments that not only do ordinary people have to pay for those bad legislative choices that enrich only the top, but in many instances the poorer citizens are greatly harmed.
A chapter about how the federal government helped the big banks is titled, “Bailing Out the Wrong People.” She points out that not only were individual citizens and families harmed, but small businesses also suffered. Warren met and tells about people of all types, including politicians such as President Obama and Senator Teddy Kennedy, plus many common folks with serious problems.
Warren mentions how the mortgage crisis involved companies targeting African American and Latino neighborhoods, selling expensive and deceptive policies. The detailed notes at the back of the book refer to some credit and lending policies that discriminated, based on race. While race is not a primary topic in the book, her efforts to help ALL people can certainly improve things for all races. Warren herself was targeted by negative, erroneous campaign statements referring to her ethnic heritage (she is part Native American, but they claimed this was not true).
During her campaign for the Senate, tremendous numbers of ordinary citizens contributed small amounts to her campaign. She demonstrates how the people can overcome the tactics of “big money” by working together. Hopefully, this book should inspire many Americans to become more involved.
The book is quite readable and personable, and it includes many short stories about Warren’s family life. She comes across as being very human, caring, and sometimes lacking in confidence – not the typical portrait of an egotistical high-level government official or politician.
The topics of this book are rather timely in their importance, so I hope it comes out in paperback soon. The current hardbound version is priced at $28 plus tax, but sale prices can sometimes be found both locally and online. Published by Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Company, 2014.