primary book cover

THE PRIMARY ROUTE: How the 99 Percent Takes On the Military-Industrial Complex Oct. 22 @ 7 p.m.

A book presentation and discussion by TOM GALLAGHER presented by the Progressive Democrats of America- San Francisco (PDA-SF) Oct. 22 @ 7 p.m. in Cyprian’s Center.

How is it that Bernie Sanders, the longest-serving Independent in U.S. congressional history, has come to run for president in the Democratic primaries?

The Primary Route covers the same history and politics that Sanders had to consider in reaching his decision: 150 years of third-party presidential candidates, a century of presidential primaries, successive conventions and platforms, the labor movement, and divisive social issues. The book argues that the history of the American left has been much like the story of the proverbial donkey stranded between those two bales of  hay, constantly pulling in two opposite directions: toward third parties on one hand, and the Democratic Party on the other. This has placed progressives in a political impasse from which we perpetually struggle to escape.

With his candidacy, Sanders has acknowledged that the route to relevance for American progressives has long been hiding in plain sight: through the presidential primaries. The challenge for the future is to make sure that we know how to use this electoral process to assume a leading role in American politics.

Longtime political and antiwar activist Tom Gallagher served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives before moving to San Francisco, where he lives in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. He has served as president of the local Democratic Club and chairs the San Francisco chapter of Progressive Democrats of America.

Gallagher’s articles and reviews have appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Common Dreams, Dissent, In These Times, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, Moscow Times, and many other print and online publications. Before The Primary Route, he authored Sub: My Years Underground in America’s Schools.


St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church

2097 Turk St. (at Lyon), San Francisco

Muni lines #5, 24, 31, 38, 43 • Some street parking available

Wheelchair accessible • Snacks and beverages served

Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America–San Francisco (

Posted in Talks.