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Synopsis

In the wake of President Obama's deal with congressional Republicans to preserve Bush-era tax cuts--tax cuts that gave colossal breaks to the wealthiest Americans--Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, publicly denounced the deal as an "absolute disaster" and decided to do something about it.

On Friday, December 10, 2010, Senator Sanders galvanized millions of Americans with an eight-and-a-half-hour filibuster decrying the tax deal and all it symbolized: the bankrupting of the middle class, corporate greed, and the impotence and corruption of today's Congress. As Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel noted, "The good Senator from Vermont spoke for millions of struggling working and middle class people who feel their voices aren't being heard in a system dominated by well-funded lobbyists and corporate insiders."

Reprinted in its entirety and with a new introduction, The Speech is a People's State of the Union address, an anatomy of working and middle-class America rarely heard in the rarefied walls of the Senate.

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