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Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 22, 2009
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"... Clever, fanciful, thought-provoking."New York Times
"With his new book, Ralph Naderalways the iconoclast and visionaryhas 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 reality.. . . as the man says, it's a utopia. You gotta believe."The Nation
"Nader has a sense of humor and ironythese are different, yet equally precious, commoditiesand he puts them to amusing and instructive use in this imagination of the moment when Warren Buffett and a group of his billionaire compatriots decide to save capitalism from itself." John Nichols,The Progressive
"Ralph Nader is an exemplary citizen and prophetic leader who tells the truth at great cost to himself on behalf of everyday people. This tale has a moral substance and political content that is quite relevant for our time!"Cornel West, Princeton University
Since the Progressive era, Ralph Nader has done more than anyone else to protect American consumers. With this utopian fantasy, he shows us how good he thinks things could be.”Warren Beatty
A high spirited visionary romp melding the wisdom, humor and imagination of Ralph Nader. May it inspire action.”Patti Smith
With apologies to Winston Churchill, never in the history of human suffering and economic conflict have so few been in a position to do so much for so many. In this eye-opening and mind-expanding work of practical utopia,” Ralph Nader conjures up a world in which our richest and most powerful citizens deploy their wealth, fame, and brains on behalf of the powerless billionsand change the world in the process. For more than four decades, Ralph Nader has used his unrivaled talents as a lawyer, organizer, and teacher to make our cars safer, our environment cleaner, and our democracy stronger. Now he uses his unrivaled imagination to show all of us what a difference a few of us can make.”William C. Taylor, Founding Editor, Fast Company, and coauthor, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win
With heart, passion, wit and humor, Ralph Nader’s stunning masterpiece provides both a sharp critique and measured remedy for our current world, in which ethically bankrupt financial leaders can devastate our economy, yet extort trillions of dollars of federal bailouts to keep destroying it. The characters in Nader’s brilliant opus are at once recognizable, sympathetic, and endowed with more influence than they realize, which he calls to action. Spiderman’s uncle may have said, With great power comes great responsibility,’ but Nader shows us that for those with appropriate courage, With great wealth comes great power,’ and that power can, and should, be harnessed for good. Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is THE book for our times.”Nomi Prins, Former Goldman Sach’s Managing Director, and author of It Takes a Pillage
Ralph Nader’s Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is a breakthrough book that sparks the imagination and inspires us to think about the political economy our country deserves. Using the storytelling conceit of leadership from the Super-Rich,” Nader shows the power that we hold collectively, if we organize ourselves to demand and create a more equitable and just society.”Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director, California Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee
About the Author
For the past forty-five years Ralph Nader has challenged corporations, government agencies, and institutions to be more accountable to the public. Nader today continues to be a relentless force for grassroots activism and democratic change in the United States.
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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!
His book is a wonderful odyssey into the near future and it is an enjoyable one. First of all, Ralph has already shown that he can write more than a legal brief. Anyone who has read his "The Seventeen Traditions" can attest to the beauty of his prose and to the deeper values that he represents. Second, he reveals more of himself in this new book than simply the uncompromising crusader he has been all his life (and all of our lives, as well). We now see him as Saul Alinsky with a vision for a better world. Alinsky was the pre-eminent community organizer of his day and actually founded a school for local activists which taught skills like how to get people to a meeting, anger the opposition enough to get them to respond, and how handle the press. There is a lot of Alinsky in Ralph.
But there is also a lot of Edward Bellamy in "How the Super Rich Can Save Us". Bellamy was perhaps the first among equals of utopians writing in the late 19th century who lifted his readers out of the horrors of the industrial revolution toward a vision of a better future.
So we now see a 21st Century Ralph Nader: a Saul Alinsky with a vision of a better world and an Edward Bellamy armed with superior legal talent and plenty of street political savvy.
I just love it. This is the kind of guy who can cut through the bloviation and tell us, in the great words of Larry the Cable Guy, how to "get 'er done".
In a world of chaos, we need to anticipate what comes next. Whatever it will be, it will come from the citizenry who are giving up on many of the old institutions and rules that govern them. Ralph's book is a realistic utopia and can be enabled by those who have the resources to move it along. None of the proposed actions and results are pie-in-the-sky. They are very real. And he has an uncanny knack for understanding the motives of the super-rich and others. His knowledge of popular culture is impressive who has been perceived as so focused on economic and political issues.
Here is the final test for a book like this: can anyone really deny that Ralph Nader's world, as described in "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us", would be decidedly better than where we are now?
"No", said the billionaire who has made too mcuh money and must now take on the challenge of building a better world.
"No", said the business person paying too much in taxes and receiving very little (if any) payback.
"No", said the union organizer trying to still be relevant in a changing world.
"No", said the entrepreneur who needs to be surrounded with creative ideas.
"No", said the tea-partier who is fighting against everything but is not quite sure what he or she is for.
"No", said the pollster who just loved this book.
I am going to give this as gifts throughout 2010.