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A Fighting Chance [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Warren
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (726 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $28.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $17.01 (61%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description


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 DC 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.

Editorial Reviews


"A potent mix of memoir and policy… The title of this book reminds us that this is about Warren’s fight. She is still the fiery advocate who called for a bureau to protect consumers or, as a second choice, ‘no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.’"—The New York Times Book Review

"Moving … Ultimately, the book’s message is that one person can make a difference.… After reading this book, it is comforting to know that Elizabeth Warren, with her passion, anger and bluntness, will not be silenced."—The Washington Post

"[Warren’s] storytelling is well-paced and engaging… She mixes policy points with rich behind-the-scenes anecdotes."—The Boston Globe

"Intelligent and informative … [Warren is] good, plainspoken company who makes you feel smarter for having spent such easy time with her…. Her new book, which is a loving look at her family as well as her country, will only broaden her base."—Entertainment Weekly

"Warren’s prose is as … direct as her book’s title. She has a good story to tell and she tells it well…. Warren’s accomplishments defied expectations virtually every step of the way."—The Christian Science Monitor

"Passionate… Her vision [for the country], laid out elegantly and effectively in A Fighting Chance, involves investments by ‘we the people,’ through our government, in schools, roads and research labs, and in a social safety net for ‘the least among us,’ investments that are, at once, in our own self-interest and in the national interest."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Remarkable… A Fighting Chance takes the reader into the nitty-gritty of our nation’s most controversial financial decisions with a depth of insight and experience no one else in today’s politics can offer… In a time when our country’s greatness seems to be in crisis, this is the story of a woman who is the living embodiment of the American Dream."—Harvard Political Review

"Warren has written a good book … Frank and quite strong."—The Nation

"Warren’s moment has arrived … To understand why Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the fastest-rising new star in the Democratic Party … read her new book … A Fighting Chance tells true and important tales about the great scandal of our age, the corruptions that engulf Washington today, and the battles of good people to reform them … [Warren] stands for the integrity and spirit that Americans hunger for in public life, which could someday bring her from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other."—The Hill

"[A] call to arms … Reading the rousing finale of A Fighting Chance … you can hear the sound of the crowd roaring with approval."—Mother Jones

"[Warren] displays a down-home charm and an effortless rapport with everyday people … The book is more memoir than manifesto; Warren emerges as a committed advocate with real world sensibility, who tasted tough economic times at an early age and did not forget its bitterness."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A passionate memoir of one woman’s personal story and the larger story of corruption in financial circles and the need for reform that balances the interests of the American middle class against those of the corporate sector…. [Warren] offers a behind-the-scenes look at the political dealmaking and head-butting machinations in efforts to restore the nation’s financial system."—Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

Elizabeth Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts. A former Harvard Law School professor, she is the author of eight books, including All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan and The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, written with her daughter, Amelia Tyagi.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
357 of 439 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let’s get one point out right at the top: Elizabeth Warren is the best thing to happen to American politics in decades. She’s not only a sharp and indefatigable warrior for American middle class families, but she’s also a forceful, persistent and effective critic of excessive financial deregulation and big business welfare.

In addition to her other winning attributes, Elizabeth Warren is also a clear, honest and deeply entertaining writer and her new memoir “A Fighting Chance” is about as good as political memoirs come. On one level, “A Fighting Chance” is a reflection on Warren’s life: her upbringing in Oklahoma in a working class family, her education and legal training, her decades as an advocate for bankruptcy law reform, her battles both inside and outside the Obama Administration to stand up her Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and her run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against a popular incumbent. On another level, Warren’s memoir is a cri de coeur arguing that the support structures and institutions that enabled Warren to succeed have been washed away by decades of wrongheaded policy choices, selfish economic priorities, and an aggressive lack of care for future generations.

In the final estimation, Elizabeth Warren accomplishes in her memoir the same thing she accomplishes so often in real life: she envisions and argues for a better, more equitable America that supports all of its families, rather than a select few. Once the reader finishes “A Fighting Chance,” it’s easy to understand what the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone meant when he said that he could use ten more progressives in the Senate -- "or one Elizabeth Warren." Before reading her memoir, I believed that Elizabeth Warren is the last, best hope our country has; after reading her memoir, I'm certain that she is.
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186 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one-star reviewers didn't read it April 26, 2014
By Paul K
I got an advanced copy of this book back in January. When I see these one star diatribes I know none of these people got even 20 pages into it. This is not a sales book--Warren is not telling us why we should believe this or support this. Rather, it's more of a journal of how she got started, the luck and decisions that led her from job to job--and how she ultimately ended up in board rooms trying to convince bankers that short-term success wasn't always in their best interest. Her studies of bankruptcy and credit cards and ballooned mortgages show us that it's not just about individuals but how our economy is affected as a whole.

Of course, you can disagree with her liberal positions on a lot of things, but again, the book isn't trying to sway the reader to get on the bandwagon. If anything, she's more like a scientist: she shows evidence of patterns and statistics that show how a shrinking middle class threatens our future and how tax loop holes only serve those who don't even need them. It's written with eloquence and candor (and sometimes a bit of frustration) but for the most part it tells of how she got where she is and why she can't just ignore the laws that truly threaten lower class families. When she wrote THE TWO INCOME TRAP a decade ago she showed us that we get fooled into believing that hard work always pays off and that doing he right thing will always protect you in the end. Not so. In an economy like this one, the strong always maintain greater control and the weak stay weak--or slip even further behind.

Is she right every time?--of course not. There really ARE poor people who buck the system--just like there are very rich people who do as well.
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118 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Story - April 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Senator Warren came from humble origins in mid-America Oklahoma - her father worked as a department-store salesman and then a maintenance man and her mother went back to work at 50 as a phone operator in Sears to try and save the family home; her brothers were an Air Force pilot, construction worker, and self-employed. Elizabeth herself began work as a special-education teacher. She attributes her successes to her parents' hard work and support, along with a nation that then invested in bilding kids and their futures. Now there's less commitment to providing affordable access to college/tech-training, our infrastructure is inadequate/crumbling, and research funding is being starved. Today, 'the game' has become rigged to further help those with money and power.

Sheer determination got her through college, then law school while also being mother to two youngsters. Then it was a couple of art-time stints teaching legal writing at Rutgers (where she'd obtained her law degree), followed by a full-time tenure track position at the University of Houston. Soon her marriage fell apart because all the external and child-caring demands on he time left her husband feeling left out. Fortunately, her family moved and helped out by carrying for the children.

After volunteering to teach bankruptcy law right after it had been changed, she soon realized there was no data on 'Why do people go bankrupt?' Convention wisdom was simple - 'they're lazy, freeloaders.' Unsatisfied, she and two other young professors undertook a study, and found nearly 90% of bankruptcies were due to job loss, medical problems, or family breakup (usually divorce, sometimes a death in the family). And the number undergoing bankruptcy was rapidly rising.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book and fun to read
a great book and fun to read. She is such a down to Earth person and a very hard worker. Loved the book and her life history!
Published 12 hours ago by Catherine H. Barnett
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
She has been through the toughest of times. Still have to finish, but I'm impressed.
Published 13 hours ago by Dean A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Senator Elizabeth Warren is an amazing person who has done amazing...
Senator Elizabeth Warren is an amazing person who has done amazing things - most of which help those of us who are not in the 1%.
Published 17 hours ago by Scott J. Dockins
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS!
A terrific book that provides hope for the disappearing middle class.
Published 18 hours ago by aleta hubbard
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting Chance
Superb as fine balance between autobiography and public policy by Senator Warren. I reflected on my own educational career where I almost took for granted the amount of... Read more
Published 19 hours ago by clyde turner
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not that interesting.
Published 19 hours ago by Gilda Monterone
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Read
If you want to know what has made Elizabeth Warren the leader she is today, I recommend you read this book. It is well-written and engaging, as is the subject.
Published 22 hours ago by Virginia B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Warren, you are an inspiration regarding tough matters to...
Elizabeth Warren is an inspiration to me! When I look at this picture, or I read a part of her book, I keep going on tough matters. Thank you, Elizabeth!
Published 1 day ago by charlotte bowers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, wish we had more like her in
Explains her motivations through lessons in life she learned. Excellent book, wish we had more like her in Congress
Published 1 day ago by Wayne B. Teetz
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money
It's really hard to trust the writings of a known fraud and liar, so this book is what one would expect from such a person. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Raymond Miller
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More About the Author

Elizabeth Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts. A former Harvard Law School professor, she is the author of ten books, including All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan and The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, written with her daughter, Amelia Tyagi.

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