In their own words: Presidential candidates share vision in books

By Karen Butler

Sept. 12 (UPI) -- As the Democrats looking to unseat GOP President Donald Trump head into another round of debates Thursday, their policy positions and values will be whittled down to sound bites and talking points.

For a deeper look at the candidates' life experiences and their vision for America's future, take a look at the books they have authored over the years. Here's a rundown.


Sen. Michael Bennet

In The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2019) the Colorado senator offers a glimpse of how Congress operates during the Trump presidency. The book also examines recent divisive judicial nominations/confirmations and the impact the Trump tax law has had on the country's economy and national debt.

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Promise Me, Dad (Flatiron Books, 2017) chronicles how Biden balanced spending time with his dying son, Beau, in 2014-15 with serving out the end of his second term as President Barack Obama's vice president and struggling to decide whether he should run for president in 2016.


Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics is Biden's memoir (Random House, 2008) about growing up in a big Catholic family in Pennsylvania and Delaware and serving in the U.S. Senate for 35 years.

Sen. Cory Booker

In United: Thoughts on Finding the Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good (Ballantine Books, 2017,) Booker documents his studies at Stanford, Oxford and Yale universities, then his work as a tenants' rights lawyer before being elected mayor of Newark, N.J., and eventually the state's first African-American U.S. senator.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Shortest Way Home: One Man's Challenge and a Model for America's Future (Liveright, 2019) tells the story of how the openly gay, devoutly Christian war veteran and Rhodes scholar parlayed his position as a mayor in the Midwest to a politician on the national stage.

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro

An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up From My American Dream (Little, Brown and Co., 2018) is the story of how Castro was raised in an impoverished neighborhood by a political activist mother, then went to Stanford and Harvard universities before becoming the mayor of San Antonio. He went on to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and served as Obama's secretary of Housing and Urban Development.


Former Rep. John Delaney

The former congressman from Maryland, who was the first declared candidate to run in the Democratic primary, urges lawmakers to set aside politics and find bipartisan solutions to issues affecting all Americans in The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divide Nation (Henry Holt and Co., 2018.)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard: Why I Fight: A Soldier in Politics (Resistance Publishing, 2019) is a collection of speeches and interviews from the Iraqi War veteran from Hawaii, who is vying to become the first female, Hindu president. Is Today the Day?: Not Another Political Memoir is slated to be published by Twelve in 2021.

Sen. Kamala Harris

In The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Penguin Press, 2019,) Harris describes her upbringing in California as the daughter of immigrants and civil rights activists -- an economist from Jamaica and a cancer researcher from India -- and her career as San Francisco District Attorney, then as California's attorney general.

She also released this year the picture book Superheroes Are Everywhere (Philomel Books), which encourages children to be the best they can be and help others.

Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor's Plan to Make Us Safer (Chronicle Books, 2009) focuses on Harris' suggestions for improvements for law enforcement and the criminal justice system.


Sen. Amy Klobuchar

In The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland (Henry Holt and Co., 2015), Klobuchar discusses everything from her father's alcoholism to what it was like running Minnesota's biggest prosecutor's office to becoming the first female senator elected in her state.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke

In 2011's Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico (Cinco Puntos Press,) the politician from El Paso, Texas, posits that rampant U.S. drug use has led to the transformation of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez into one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Rep. Tim Ryan

The Ohio congressman promotes the value of mindfulness in Healing America: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Recapture the American Spirit (Hay House, 2018.) The book updates his earlier effort, A Mindful Nation: How A Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the Human Spirit (Hay House, 2012,) and reflects the current political and cultural climate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders

2019's Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance (Thomas Dunne Books,) 2017's Bernie Sanders' Guide to Political Revolution (Henry Holt and Co.) and 2016's Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Thomas Dunne Books) explore the independent senator's meteoric rise from fringe player to national influencer, particularly on the issues of free college and universal healthcare.


Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

Sanford discusses his three terms in Congress and lays out the case for term limits in The Trust Committed to Me (U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2000).

Former Rep. Joe Sestak

The former Pennsylvania congressman explores how Americans may restore their belief that it is possible for members of each generation to improve their lives based on their efforts and ingenuity in Walking in Your Shoes to Restore the American Dream (Infinity Publishing, 2015).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

The teacher and lawyer who grew up in Oklahoma lays out her agenda for helping working families in 2018's This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class (Metropolitan Books,) 2016's The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Still Going Broke (Basic Books,) 2015's A Fighting Chance (Picador) and 2006's All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan (Free Press).

Marianne Williamson

The best-selling author, teacher, pastor and founder of Project Angel Food and Peace Alliance offers advice on dealing with modern-day divisiveness and stresses in 2019's A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution (HarperOne,) 2010's A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever (Hay House, Inc.) and 1992's A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of 'A Course of Miracles.' (HarperOne.)


Andrew Yang

The New York entrepreneur and philanthropist wrote The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income is Our Future (Hachette Books, 2019,) to detail his vision for stabilizing the U.S. economy and preparing workers for a technological revolution.

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