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Excerpts from Books by and about 2008 candidates
Sen. Joe Biden
Promises to Keep
Sen. Sam Brownback
From Power to Purpose
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Living History
Pres. Bill Clinton
My Life
Sen. Chris Dodd
Letters from Nuremberg
Sen. John Edwards
Ending Poverty in America
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Sen. Mike Gravel
Citizen Power
Gov. Mike Huckabee
From Hope to Higher Ground
Amb. Alan Keyes
Our Character, Our Future
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
A Prayer for America
Sen. John McCain
Why Courage Matters
Sen. Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope
Rep. Ron Paul
A Foreign Policy of Freedom
Gov. Bill Richardson
Between Worlds
Gov. Mitt Romney
Rep. Tom Tancredo
Mortal Danger
Sen. Fred Thompson
Government at the Brink

(click a book cover for excerpts and a review or other books by or about the presidency from

Citizen Power
A People's Platform
, by Mike Gravel (published 1972)

(Click for Amazon book review)


This book was written in 1972 by the former Senator, Mike Gravel. Make that "very former" Senator -- the book was written during the heyday of the Watergate and Vietnam protest movements, participants in which considered Gravel a hero.

The most surprising aspect of this book is how current it is, despite having been written 35 years ago. Sure, Gravel bashes Nixon a lot -- but the same complaints apply today if the reader substitutes "Bush" for "Nixon." Gravel discusses the issues of his day -- CO2 emissions, government secrecy, workfare, healthcare delivery -- and many of those same issues prevail as the dominant topics in the 2008 presidential race.

Perhaps that's why Gravel chose to run 35 years later -- because the solutions which were obvious to him then have still not been implemented, despite 35 years of people proposing the same solutions. His 2008 presidential race focuses on changing the legislative process -- allowing citizen-based ballot initiatives as a new grassroots source of legislation -- because after 35 years, Gravel sees that just proposing sensible policies is not enough.

Take a look at one verbatim example from p. 233:

The abrogation of the people's right to know--one of the system's most important checks and balances--caused this nation to make this colossal mistake of waging a war that has nothing to do with our security, individually or as a nation.
Gravel was talking about the Vietnam war, but the same words could describe millions of people's criticism of the Iraq war. This is the sort of excerpt that makes historians scream, "If we don't learn from history, we're destined to repeat it." Gravel 's candidacy is forcing the 2008 electorate to learn from history -- applying Nixon's desire for secrecy to Bush; and applying the problems of centralization of presidential power from Vietnam to Iraq.

Unfortunately, this book is hard to come by. It is no longer in print; and the Gravel campaign had no copies either. OnTheIssues had to order an old signed copy, used, from an online book vendor, at ten times the cover price. The Gravel campaign could do the American public a great service by reprinting this book so that voters could see the obvious parallels from 1972.

-- Jesse Gordon,, May 2007

P.S. March 2008 -- Gravel's campaign did follow that advice and released Citizen Power: Mandate for Change in 2008.

Click here for 23 full quotes from Mike Gravel in the book Citizen Power, by Mike Gravel.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
Budget & Economy
   Make Office of Scientific Assessment to avoid cost overruns.
   Purpose of economy is to meet people's needs, not business.
   More jails don't cut crime--must address poverty instead.
   Stop punishment for victimless crimes: drugs, sex & gambling.
   Vouchers are innovative & imaginative--let's experiment.
   25% bonus for teachers in hardship areas.
Energy & Oil
   Nuclear energy is unwise because of nuclear waste.
Foreign Policy
   Replace intervention with participation, not isolation.
   US should empower UN with stand-by peace force.
Government Reform
   Start with public financing of campaigns.
   Abolish voter registration as precondition for voting.
   Replace electoral college with direct election.
Health Care
   We have impressive resources but need delivery to people.
Homeland Security
   Government secrecy creates 1984-style state.
   Cut military budget in half--we don't need such "readiness".
   National security is no need for government secrecy.
   Citizens Wage: individuals share in nation's total affluence.
Principles & Values
   Citizen Power: democracy requires participation.
Tax Reform
   Less regressive tax on poor; more capital gains on rich.
   Empower Congress to make independent scientific conclusions.
War & Peace
   US creates threats to our own security by acting out of fear.
Welfare & Poverty
   Citizens Wage: $5000 income from feds to banish poverty.
   Workfare is morally repugnant; why not "wealthwork"?.

    Click for quotations from other sources by:
  • Mike Gravel

The above quotations are from Citizen Power
A People's Platform
, by Mike Gravel (published 1972).

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Reprinting by permission only.

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