Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, Bernie is the must-have guidebook to the Bernie Sanders campaign—and the uncompromising candidate behind it. Insightful, funny, and accessible, this biography-in-graphic-novel-form of the presidential candidate explains both his early life and political rise, but also shows the broader political shift that made it possible for a Jewish socialist to rally voters and become a real presidential contender.

Political cartoonist and Kennedy Award winner Ted Rall interviewed Bernie Sanders at length for this book and delved deep into his background to create this one-of-a-kind biography. 

Sanders' upbringing in a struggling working-class family in a hardscrabble section of Brooklyn during the 1950s taught him that poverty is a disease, one that affects us all. Incredibly, the lessons he learned back then are revolutionizing the political process this year, marking the resurgence of political progressivism on the left at the same time as the two-party system seems to be on the way out. From McGovern’s 1972 loss to Nixon to the Occupy movement, Rall shows readers exactly how the American public was primed to embrace a socialist calling for a political revolution.   

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“Rall’s illustrated work, in the same format as his acclaimed Snowden, is an illuminating, clear-headed, straight-shooting argument on why American voters should support and elect Senator Bernie Sanders to president. The first few chapters are an enlightening mini-course in contemporary American government and economics, tracing the Democratic Party’s persistent movement to the right over the past several decades. Sanders, Rall argues, is the only candidate whose passions and commitments favor the American people rather than corporations or big government. Each page is half text and half illustration in Rall’s signature caricature style, a format that serves up a large amount of information at an easy-to-digest pace of one idea per page. Unlike the Snowden book, this could have a potential short shelf life if Sanders isn’t nominated or elected. But in the months leading up to the Democratic Convention, this is an essential survey and solid political ammunition for Sanders supporters, with appeal to politically minded readers.”

“More than a campaign biography, this graphic narrative traces the decline and possible resurgence of liberalism within the Democratic Party.... An effective, if unapologetically partisan, primer on a strong voice from the left to counter the Democrats' rightward shift.”

“What sets this book apart is not that it's a cartoon, but that it's an argument for placing Bernie Sanders in a particular position in U.S. history, namely as the restoration of liberalism to a Democratic Party that hasn't seen it since the McGovern campaign. In fact, a huge chunk of the book is not about Bernie at all, but is a history of the rightward drifting of the Democratic Party over the decades. Another big chunk is a history of Bernie's childhood and career. Both of these sections are well done.”

blog — August 08

A Candidate Called Bernie

There's a 2020 candidate for the presidency they call Bernie. You may have heard of him. He's an old-fashioned fellow, but his ideas—free college, medicare for all—are pretty newfangled.

He's in the news these days, now that the Democratic debates are in action, and he's drawing a lot of attention. In fact, when it comes to campaign donations from real live people, he's basically running the show. See the map above, or the link here. It represents which candidates have received the most individual donations, by United States county. Bernie is in the blue.

See also Ted Rall's graphic biography on Bernie, appropriately titled BernieIt does a great job telling the whole story of how the Democrats came to be in the pockets of their corporate sponsors over the past fifty years—and how Bernie may just be the man to put an end to all that. Rall regularly blogs at his own website, with cartoons that include this month's "Damn Bernie Sanders Has Had It, Godamm It." Check it out, gosh darn it!

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Twice the winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Ted Rall is a political cartoonist, opinion columnist, graphic novelist, and occasional war correspondent whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, and Los Angeles Times. He is the illustrator of the full-length comic in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, written by Greg Palast.