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Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! Hardcover – September 22, 2009
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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..". Clever, fanciful, thought-provoking."--"New York Times"
"With his new book, Ralph Nader--always the iconoclast and visionary--has created a new genre...What makes Nader remarkable is that he has refused to compromise utopian ideals while totally engaging the real world over the last five decades and delivering some of the most important changes from the Left in America in the last century...How many leftist books leave you feeling hopeful, even optimistic? How many offer you a picture of a new world that inspires you to act?...A genuine creative leap in genre and substance."--"Tikkun Magazine"
"Nader, at age 75, has just added one more literary accomplishment to his list."--"Publishers Weekly"
"For his progressive purposes Nader finds that the utopian novel allows one's imagination to forage freely in policy pastures for down-to-earth solutions. In the past Nader might have sat down and written an investigative book. Now he is presenting his ideas as fiction grounded in r
About the Author
Born in Connecticut in 1934, RALPH NADER has spent his lifetime challenging corporations and government agencies to be more accountable to the public. His 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed permanently altered the course of a reckless U.S. automobile industry and made Nader a household name. His lobbying and writing on the food industry helped to ensure that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of Nader’s greatest achievements was his successful lobbying for a 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act, which gave increased public access to government documents. Over the years he has co-founded the public interest groups Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. His 2000 presidential campaign on the Green Party ticket served to broaden the scope of debate on the nation’s priorities. Named by the Atlantic as one of the hundred most influential figures in American history, Nader continues to be a relentless advocate for grassroots activism and democratic change. He lives in Washington, D.C.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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1) At over 500 pages, it is numbingly long. A crisp 200 pages would have sufficed. (Do editors still exist?)
2) Nader is entitled to his fantasy of how political change could come about, but I found his wishful thinking to be wildly over-optimistic in a couple of ways:
* He shares the endearing progressive fantasy that, once made aware of reality, common people from all over the political spectrum will jump on the progressive bandwagon. For some reason, the preoccupation with God, Guns, Immigrants and Gays will suddenly disappear when confronted by simple common sense. Would that it were so.
* He vastly underestimates the skill with which the right wing, Wall Street, and corporations will oppose the progressive agenda. The skillful gutting of healthcare reform and the emergence of the Tea Party as a powerful force illustrate what any move toward a more egalitarian society would actually face.
Nevertheless, some readers will enjoy the book. It does serve as a primer on several political issues, and it gives the reader some idea of what participatory democracy would really look like. As such, it may be worth skimming. This jaded cynic, however, wants a bit more realism mixed in.
This is a wonderful vision Ralph Nader has given us. Imagine an America of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's a fantasy, but with each brilliantly defined campaign you remind yourself that although it won't happen, it COULD happen. If only those super-rich men and women of conscience would take the first step.
Thank you Ralph Nader for once again showing us the way!
Nader skewers the banksters and top one percent in a creative and interesting style by proffering fictional scenarios involving contemporary American aristocrats, media moguls and other elites. His prose is beautiful. The writing always has democratic principles at heart and the increasing polarization of the tiny sliver of the population known as the owning class, who have so much they don't know what to do with it all, and the mass of working class and poor people one paycheck from dire straits, is never far from his mind.
The American domestic scene has been a catastrophic albatross of skyrocketing unemployment, increasing poverty, middle class workers slaving away in the service sector for peanuts, while investment bankers, the big brokerage houses and financiers reap the harvest. Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us is a unique contribution to help reverse this slide into the dark abyss of plutocracy.
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Thank you very much.