POLITICS

Elizabeth Warren Reveals Why She Wrote Her Book

04/26/2014 07:30 am ET | Updated Apr 26, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren's new book is not just a memoir, or even a modern declaration of liberal values, the Democratic Massachusetts senator said in an interview. It's an appeal to all Americans to get up, go out and take back their government.

"I want to pull more people into this fight. This fight isn't just my fight. This fight isn't just a fight for progressives," Warren told HuffPost. "This fight is America's fight. I wrote this book hoping that lots of different people would pick it up and read it, hoping that they would see themselves in this book and know that they have to be part of the fight."

Warren tries to do that in A Fighting Chance by telling her own life story, reaching back to her childhood in Oklahoma, when her family bumped along at the bottom edge of the middle class.

She offers her tale as someone who started her life and career not especially interested in politics, but came to her views through experiences shared by many Americans and knowledge acquired by studying, teaching and then advocating around bankruptcy law.

There were her family's early hardships after her father suffered a heart attack. Later, there were problems in her first marriage in the 1970s trying to juggle a husband, children and a career. As the book recounts her advances in the world and her more rarefied battles in Washington, Warren is careful to keep it human, with tales of how her parents and aunt helped her, how she helped them, and later, how the weight of her granddaughter in her arms was so important to her.

The idea is that if people relate to Warren and her experiences, it helps them care about the ideas she advocates -- cutting the income gap, rebuilding infrastructure, reinvesting in education, and making government listen to regular Americans more than the rich and the powerful who can game the system.

"Books are part of how I fight for what I believe in," said Warren. "That's what this is about. It's about trying to pull more people into the fight."

Warren has authored several other books, perhaps most famously The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Parents Are Going Broke, which she wrote with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi. They sold well for research-based books, and had their share of influence on policymakers. But Warren is trying to go further with her new volume by motivating a broader audience.

She explained why she thinks more Americans need to get involved.

"The game is rigged," Warren said in a refrain of a message she's been delivering on her nationwide book tour. And there's really only one way for regular people to straighten out the game.

"Those with money and power have loud voices in Washington," Warren said. "Everyone else has only their own voices and their votes. So this book is about the importance of using our voices together, using our votes to level the playing field. That's all we've got. That's what have to work with. And if we don't organize and make our views heard, then the rich will keep getting richer and the powerful keep getting more powerful, and this country tilts out of control."

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

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