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Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
by Ralph Nader
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.92
121 used & new from $0.01

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
In "Network," Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 Academy Award winning satirical screenplay, TV news-anchor Howard Beale electrifies and awakens a nation from lethargy shouting, repeatedly, "I'm as mad as hell,and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

In "OTSRCSU," Nader's rollicking satirical admixture of virtuosity, imagination, and mega counter-corporate strategy, Patriotic Polly, a resplendent scarlet parrot ("the trumpeter of truth") galvanizes millions of Americans into action squawking, repeatedly, in 15-second spots aired on thousands of TV stations, "Get up! Don't let America down!"

Nader's cinematic political novel describes in fascinating insider detail a titanic struggle between the "Meliorists," a team of 17 rebellious real-life retired (or elderly) super-rich billionaires/megamillionaires battling for the people, and the "corporatists," a formidable cabal of entrenched super-rich CEOs battling to retain their control of the federal government. The Meliorists (Ted Turner, Barry Diller George Soros, Paul Newman, Phil Donahue, Warren Beatty, Yoko Ono, and others) are led by Warren Buffett, the world's second richest person; the CEOs, by Jaspar Cumbersome III, head of Leviathan Corp., who hires Lancelot Lobo ("a beyond-the-pale corporate raider") and Brovar Dortwist (patterned after real-life conservative political strategist Grover Norquist) to defeat what he calls the SROs (Super-Rich-Oldsters). Lobo and Dortwist, in turn, enlist combat-hardened talk-radio veterans Bush Bimbaugh (Rush Limbaugh) and Pawn Vanity (Sean Hannity).

And the galactic battle for America is engaged.

The most innovative of Nader's organized civic initiatives are brought into play, including Citizens' Utility Boards, the People's Chamber of Commerce, the People's Court Society, the Clean Elections Party, Congress Watchdogs, Sub-Economy Leaders.

The pitched ten-month battle waged by the Meliorists and a reawakened citizenry to redirect America from corporate to patriotic populist objectives is richly instructive in the political intrigues hatched in corporate boardrooms and inside the Washington Beltway.

It is also fabulously entertaining. The whimsically named characters and, on occasion, their absurd behavior are reminiscent of Billy Pilgrim in Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five," and of Milo Minderbinder in Heller's "Catch-22." There is the supporting cast: including Senators Thurston Thinkalot and Fred Flagrant, lawyer Theresa Tieknots, organizers Luke Skyhi and Evan Evervescent, domestic CEOs Samuel Slick and Justin Jeremiad, and global CEOs Hugh Mongous, Sam Selitoff, Manny Tentacles, Sy Clopean. There are the antics: when stressed, Lancelot Lobo exchanges rapturous kisses with his pit bull and devours raw carrots to the point that his skin turns orange; dapper Brover Dortwist earnestly consults with his Doberman (Get'Em) during strolls around the Tidal Basin; after a rare Dartford warbler alights on the Capitol Dome, drawing crowds of activist bird watchers in too-close proximity to their elected representatives, an anxious Senator Thinkalot suggests calling in a naval sonar warfare team.

And there is Patriotic Polly, Woody Harrelson planting hemp seeds in front of the White House, Yoko Ono's Seventh-Generation Eye, Ted Turner's Sun-God festivals.

But, above all, in Nader's neo-utopian work, there is hope and passion and courage and optimism. Enabled by the Meliorists, the people prevail in the end, with reforms enacted, corporate power circumscribed, democracy revived. "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why," Bobby Kennedy once remarked. "I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?"
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2010 1:47 AM PDT

The Seventeen Traditions
The Seventeen Traditions
by Ralph Nader
Edition: Hardcover
112 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best "Little Book" Ever Written for Parents of Young Children, May 15, 2007
Elegant, timeless, profound, this is the best "little book" ever written for parents who seek to instill in their children traditional values that ennoble life, enrich community, and make democracy work.

I was particularly taken with its tone and pitch: serious yet never pedantic, thoughtful and eloquent and endearing without a hint of self-absorption, a tribute to a pair of uniquely responsible and caring parents, Nathra and Rose Nader, whose lives and whose four children (Ralph, Shafeek, Claire and Laura) epitomize the civic personality.

Buy this little jewel, an enchantingly disarming journey through Nader's boyhood in Winsted, Connecticut, to understand how values imparted by our mothers and fathers shape our destinies and, more specifically, which values enabled this small-town child of unconventional immigrant parents to grow up and become "one of the 100 most influential figures in American history." (For Nader's later history-changing life, you should also consider buying the critically acclaimed documentary film An Unreasonable Man on DVD).

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