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Crashing the Party: Taking on the Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender Hardcover – January 17, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Crashing the Party is Ralph Nader's raucous and righteously indignant account of his Green Party candidacy in the 2000 American presidential election. Nader weaves an anecdotal recounting--virtually speech-by-speech--of his exhausting, 50-state campaign with impassioned summaries of his political opinions. Primarily, Nader sees the current political structure as ominously flawed: a two-party system, he says, exists in a "drowsy equilibrium," and the parties--both in thrall to corporate interests--are concerned less with the people's needs than their own self-perpetuation. An equal-opportunity critic, he slings arrows not only at what he sees as a myopic, lazy media and Republicans (he calls former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman a "latter-day Marie Antoinette"), but organized labor, prominent Democrats, and certain fair-weather Hollywood friends as well.

Though overly strident at times, Crashing the Party is a noteworthy, thoughtful addition to the literature of muckraking. --H. O'Billovitch

From Publishers Weekly

This jaunty, provocative and entertaining on-the-road memoir/manifesto maps out Nader's political philosophy and provides the Nader take on the contemporary U.S. political scene. Whether it is what he sees as the corruption of the national media "I can't overemphasize the influence of The New York Times and Washington Post in setting the scene for the rest of the media" or the need to resuscitate the town meeting as he did repeatedly during his campaign tour, Nader presents a strong case that national politics is run more by money than issues and that there is a "democracy gap" that "discourages people from shaping the future for our country." Like a plucky protagonist in a Frank Capra film, Nader insists on speaking up for the little people and backs his arguments and decent sentiments with hard facts: an appendix of stats on affordable housing needs, "corporate welfare," personal bankruptcies, uneven distribution of wealth and the current minimum wage (which, adjusted for inflation, is lower than it was in 1979) is an impressive indictment of the state of the national economy. Holding up last November's squalid election bickering as the end result of a fatigued system "To tell you the truth, I think they [the people] never really liked either one of them," he quotes Gore's own campaign manager as saying Nader, ever optimistic, ends his book with a pragmatic 10-point "First Stage Goals for a Better America." (Jan.)Forecast: Despite the general shift of interest away from last year's election, Nader's faithful and other opponents of two-party domination will undoubtedly seek this out. It should do well in areas where he has strong support.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312284330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312284336
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Named by The Atlantic as one of the hundred most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century, Ralph Nader has helped us drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments for more than four decades.

The crusading attorney first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment that lambasted the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles. The book led to congressional hearings and automobile safety laws passed in 1966, including the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. He was instrumental in the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many lives have been saved by Nader's involvement in the recall of millions of unsafe consumer products, including defective motor vehicles, and in the protection of laborers and the environment. By starting dozens of citizen groups, Ralph Nader has created an atmosphere of corporate and governmental accountability.

Ralph Nader's most popular books include, from Seven Stories, In Pursuit of Justice and The Ralph Nader Reader. His most recent bestselling books were The Good Fight (2004) and The Seventeen Traditions (2007), both published by HarperCollins. "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!" is Nader's first work of imagination. It will be published by Seven Stories Press on September 22, 2009.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was among those who thought Ralph Nader was a "spoiler" and deprived Al Gore of the election. After reading this book, I now realize that Nader is correct-the major premise of his book is that both the Democratic and Republican parties have become so corrupt and so removed from citizen interests as to be identically disqualified from putting forward viable candidates for the future. He puts forth a vision for a new democracy in which the citizens take back the power and demand that third party candidates be allowed to join the Presidential debates and be heard by America.
Some will accuse Nader of name-dropping and self-aggrandizing in this book, but that is an unfair charge. He has dedicated 40 years of his life to a quest for fairness in American life. As I went through the book and reflected on his very early efforts on everything from women's rights to product safety to the environment I could not help thinking that the breadth and substance of his accomplishments make the Democratic and Republican candidates look like Johnny-come-latelys who are also bluffing snake oil salesmen. This guy is "the real deal."
I recommend that two books be read prior to reading this one: Halstead & Lind's "The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics" and Ray & Anderson's "The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World". Two other books could add useful underpinnings to the points Nader makes that I summarize below: Lewis' "LOSERS: The Road to Everyplace but the White House" which immortalizes citizen-businessman Morry Taylor (the "Grizz"); and Williamson's "IMAGINE: What America Could be in the 21st Century.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
One is probably not surprised that large corporations and big money are running our country as Ralph Nader documents in his book "Crashing the Party". The Democrats and the Republicans both receive large financial contributions from the corporations thereby ensuring corporations that they have access to the White House regardless of which party wins the election. To appease these corporations and to ensure a continual flow of campaign money both parties support legislation favorable to the corporations. Nader points out the Democrats have "morphed" into the Republican Party resulting in very little differences between the two parties.
When third party candidates run for office the giant media conglomerates do not provide national news coverage if the candidates no not have a respectable showing in the polls. If the candidates are not getting coverage their polls don't have a chance to improve. To increase their standing in the polls, third party candidates need exposure. The best way for them to get exposure is to be included in the debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates now controls the debates. The Commission is comprised of the former National Democratic Committee Chairman and the former National Republican Committee Chairman and their appointees. The Commission rules on all decisions regarding the debates including which candidates to include, what questions to ask and who will monitor the discussion. The Commission requires a candidate to be registered and on the ballot in enough states to theoretically be able to obtain the required number of electoral votes necessary to become President to be included in the debates. Congress (Democrats and Republicans) has passed legislation requiring candidates to have a 15% rating in the polls to be included in the debates.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Everyone needs to read this book! Ralph Nader describes the corruption of our political system and describes in great detail what really happened in the Presidential Campaign of 2000--it is chilling to find out how the media blacked out newsworthy information about Nader's campaign. It doesn't matter whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Green , or other---the information contained in this book transcends party lines--it is information that is vital to our democracy.
Nader attracted crowds of 10,000 plus at his super rallies in Boston, Portland, New York, Washington, DC, etc. He attracted more people than Gore or Bush at their stump speeches---10,000 people is an amazing number for a third party candidate. The media had a responsibility to cover these rallies!
Nader was also illegally barred from viewing the debates in Boston. He had a ticket to attend the viewing room, and he was illegally escorted out by police sent by the Debate Commission. He has filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The CPD tried to have the case thrown out, but the judge felt that something was terribly amiss--the case is still pending.
Shouldn't the media be telling us that a lawsuit has been filed against the Debate Commission??!!
The League of Women Voters (the former sponsors of the debates) withdrew their sponsorship from the debates when the CPD stepped in, saying that the debates were a fraud and that they didn't want to be part of the hoodwinking of the american public.
What's left of our Democracy is slowly dying. It is up to us as citizens, regardless of political party affiliation, to get involved and take back our government.
This book is very disturbing, but what is more disturbing is the fact that the majority of Americans don't even know what is happening---corruption thrives in the dark--- everyone must read this book!
As Nader said , "If you don't turn on to politics, politics will turn on you."
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