Book Review: Persist by Elizabeth Warren
Reading format: Hardback
Content warnings: sexism, racism, pandemic, 2020 elections
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Persist by Elizabeth Warren is not a memoir about what went wrong or what she could have done differently during the 2020 presidential election season. Instead, Warren writes from six perspectives that influence her decisions, views, and advocacy. She writes as a mother, teacher, planner, fighter, learner, and woman. Through these different viewpoints Warren outlines what plans she feels our nation should implement to improve the lives of the American people.
Honestly, picking up a book written by yet another politician was the last thing I thought I’d reach for this year. But I was in my local bookstore and it just beckoned to me. It was a true impulse buy and I thought to myself, “I hope I don’t regret this purchase.” It sat in view for a few days and I just felt this pull towards it which I usually only feel for a fantasy books.
As soon as I opened it I knew I made the right choice. Warren’s energy reverberates throughout the entire book. She writes exactly how she talks, with conviction and positivity. Every time I sat down to read it I heard her voice in my head.
Admittedly, I didn’t read the book cover blurb before I bought it, so I thought I was going to read a memoir. But it was a pleasant surprise to read about her well thought out ideas (compared to many other politicians) to invoke change and to inspire action. I don’t know that it would have made a difference, but I wish she had published this book while she was on the campaign trail.
She writes about a variety of topics (childcare, health insurance, racism, climate change, women in the workforce, education), but her explanation of the wealth tax sticks out to me the most. I had no idea how much educational opportunity could be generated through the implementation of a wealth tax. For those unfamiliar with this idea, Warren’s health tax would apply for every dollar after the first $50 million: there would be a two cent tax for every dollar about $50 million and three cents for every dollar about $1 billion.
This tax would generated $275 billion per year. To put that into perspective, that’s enough money to give a $1 million grant to every public school in the country to improve their students’ education whether it be through a new science lab, better opportunities for special education, increased teacher pay, etc. My jaw dropped when I read that.
My jaw dropped more than once while reading Persist, actually, but don’t take my word for it! Check out this book yourself. I know, I grumbled about another political nonfiction book, too. But I’m really glad I gave this one a chance. I’m not sure how quickly change will happen, but I really appreciate Warren’s enthusiasm; it even made me a little less cynical, but I can tell just how much she believes in what she does. I’ve already recommended this to several friends. So give it a chance!
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Publish Date: May 4, 2021