A Fighting Chance

A Fighting Chance

Elizabeth Warren

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 125006225X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works—and really doesn't.

As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: Could she come to Washington, D.C. to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?

Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks. She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country.

In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.

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and then with another mother. It was all I could do. I knew the numbers. We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence. The politics surrounding this issue make me want to tear my hair out. I know that Americans care fiercely

to consumer complaints…” “Big Credit Bureaus, Big Mistakes,” US PIRG Education Fund, November 19, 2013. In another study, PIRG analyzed CFPB complaint data about banks: “The CFPB’s searchable complaint database is the newest of a set of federal government consumer complaint databases that help consumers make better economic and safety choices by reviewing others’ experiences and searching for problems or product recalls. The transparency also helps firms improve their products and services. In

Kerry lost. Meanwhile, I never got a meeting with anyone from the Bush White House, not even an aide. After the election, the industry-supported bankruptcy bill was back again, and it kept moving right along in Congress. Campaign money rolled in. MBNA, the country’s biggest credit card lender, through its executives and PACs and “soft money” pledges, had been the single biggest contributor to President Bush’s first campaign, and in 2004 they stepped up to the plate again. And all over the

everything he could to fight them off, but in the end, the car dealers got their way. The consumer agency was a little battle-scarred, but the important provisions were all there. The agency had survived—strong and independent. And in December 2009, Barney steered the financial reform bill through the House of Representatives. Now all that remained was to get the bill through the Senate. Death in Committee It was Friday morning, January 15, 2010, and the calls started coming in early. I was

could do anyone any good was to win—so I intended to win. Nobody Got Rich on His Own A few days later, I declared war on the rich. Well, not really. But the right-wing blogs and Fox News sure made it sound as though I’d started stockpiling weapons and would soon be storming the mansions of Fifth Avenue. After that gathering in New Bedford, I continued meeting with voters all around the state. These meetings were supposed to be quiet affairs, a chance to sit in someone’s living room and visit

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