"The goal of this issue is to undertake a critical engagement with Bernie Sanders' ‘New Deal’ style liberalism, his ‘democratic socialism’, and his long-standing interest in Eugene Debs as a labor leader and a candidate for office. The contributors outline the intellectual and political strands that have informed Sanders’ approach to governing, while at the same time identifying what makes him unique in the history of American socialism. The challenges that Sanders addresses are significantly different from those faced by figures from the American socialist past; so it seemed important to assess his sense of a ‘future to believe in’, while at the same time determining why he appeals to the younger generation of American voters. I therefore created a course about Sanders at Vanderbilt University, in order to glean what some of our students have to say about the Bernie they knew, and the Bernie they came to know better as they read primary and secondary texts relating to his life and work. Within weeks of starting the course, these students began to submit some really fascinating position papers. This special issue, The Mittens and the Dove, is the result."
-- Robert F. Barsky, Editor