- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (October 14, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312302584
- ISBN-13: 978-0312302580
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
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Crashing the Party: Taking on the Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender Paperback – October 14, 2002
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"[Ralph Nader] has the intensity of a lifelong crusader...Mr. Nader is right about how the major parties handicap competitors, how the media often dismiss them and how voters abandon them if they think they can't win." -The Wall Street Journal
"Crashing the Party couldn't have come at a more appropriate moment...a candid, whirlwind tour of America at a crossroads, seen through the eyes of a man who cares passionately about its future." -San Francisco Chronicle
"[Ralph Nader] makes, again, an excellent case for the need for another party and for a revitalized Democratic Party." -Los Angeles Times
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It pleases me to write that this book is ably edited, and a careful read-through by me turned up zero typos. On the flip side, there also are zero footnotes, and this book contains a lot of assertions which I would like to have checked sources on. There is a useful index if you're looking to relocate something within this book.
An informative list is included for further reading, although the listed periodicals appear to be chosen for their "progressive" stance as opposed to careful thinking and pursuit of the facts. What's missing from the periodical list? For starters, The Christian Science Monitor, which frequently contains content in support of the progressive agenda but without much of the "hate speech" and black-and-white rendering occasionally seen in Crashing the Party -- which, by the way, does quote from a Monitor editorial.
By "hate speech", I am referring to a tendency to resort to generalizations, stereotypes, and preconceived notions. In this book the target of such speech isn't an ethnic group, religion, gender, or sexual preference; instead it's "corporations". Assertions that "corporations" are evil are not as productive as they might appear. For one thing, the term "corporation" is more than overly broad; it's downright inaccurate. Many businesses today are not corporations but in fact are limited liability companies. It's important too that not all businesses -- whether Inc. or LLC -- are evil, but Crashing the Party doesn't concede this until page 146, where Nader writes that "there are many companies of lesser size and greater conscience", and then doesn't concede the point again.
Crashing the Party describes many problems which are very real, yet I believe that these are best tackled without the hate speech. In a similar manner, Mr. Nader describes many unfortunate behaviors which have their root in economic forces and lack of creativity, but are described instead as moral shortcomings and ethical lapses. A coincidental appearance of impropriety should not be interpreted as proof of moral turpitude, as such a leap robs the assumer of all hope for progress.
As long as I am mentioning leaps, several reviewers blame Mr. Nader's 2000 presidential run for the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and associated deaths numbering in at least the tens of thousands. This is foolish reasoning. Mr. Nader's only failing on Iraq is not falling for the extortion inflicted by so many commentators: "a vote for Mr. Nader is a vote for __________ (insert anything which means destruction and anarchy)".
With its weaknesses, this book is nonetheless a constructive read. I couldn't give it five stars, but less than four would mislead. With that said, the book is not a quick read and is not as useful on contemporary topics as his more recent book, The Good Fight : Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap. If you have not read The Good Fight and you value your time, I suggest skipping Crashing the Party in favor of this other book by Mr. Nader with fewer words and more substance (although still no footnotes).
I am impressed by Mr. Nader's astounding personal knowledge of current and recent events, a result of decades of advocacy and tireless public service. Although I will never agree with each of his positions across the board, I find Mr. Nader's writing to be very fresh and rather informative. Concerning the weaknesses in some of his reasoning, perhaps I will find the time to write my own book and set a few things straight. As for Mr. Nader's keener observations? They are absolutely brilliant.
With over 100 million non-voters in the U.S., Nader believes that there is ample opportunity for a third party to take root and grow. By aligning with the Green Party, Nader's vision is to nurture a movement that has not "surrendered" its values to corporate interests.
Nader is a grown-up who writes with insight and intelligence. He understands that some of his liberal friends were ultimately unwilling to support his campaign because of longstanding ties with the Democratic Party (and the attendant fear of tilting the election to George W. Bush). But Nader's counter argument sticks: a healthy democracy demands a citizenry that is willing to vote its conscience. He drives the point home by highlighting the fact that the Democrats have become increasingly pro-business and almost indistinguishable from the Republicans in recent years (Nader also included a section in the appendix on this subject), meaning that many progressive ideas have been stuck on the shelves for far too long. Nader compelling argues that the American people deserve better.
On the other hand, the personal pain is writ fairly large when Nader recalls how certain so-called friends -- many of whom collaborated with Nader on projects in the past -- actually went so far as to misrepresent his ideas in order to harm his campaign and get Al Gore elected. One would think that such behavior is uncalled for under any circumstances, but to knowingly slander a man who has arguably done more for the American people over the past 40 years than any other single person, and for whom principles mean a great deal, is disgraceful. I applaud Nader for using this book to set the record straight.
Yet despite what was obviously a very physically, financially and emotionally draining experience (Nader's futile attempts to get on the Presidential debates must have been very challenging), Nader emerges as a class act. He is proud of what the campaign was able to achieve, and he encourages others to participate in the democractic process too.
"Crashing the Party" is recommended reading for anyone with a keen interest in Ralph Nader, the Green Party or the 2000 election.
Nader's high ethical standards and great ideas should be a guiding torch to our government.
Thanks to him, there is some accountability in Washington. His persistence to fight for the public stands strong in defiance of the black out by the media and the dirty smear campaigns by the politicians. If Nader was corrupt he would've been recruited by the elites and could've occupied the White House or other high positions in government and top corporations.
Nader is never for sale and will continue to stand for the little people as an icon of truth and integrity.
I would highly recommend his book for every citizen that has concerns for his country, and for every person that values ethics in business, government, and life in general....