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The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future Paperback – October 2, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve years after his role in the 2000 presidential election and nearly 50 since Unsafe at Any Speed (1965) shocked the U.S. auto industry, Nader remains a font of ideas about all that ails the U.S. economy and the U.S. polity. No reader will be surprised that corporate America is the focus of many proposals, among them eliminating corporate welfare, cracking down on corporate crime, establishing national charters for the largest corporations, and cutting the military budget. Anyone who’s followed Nader’s career will also expect his advocacy for political changes, including restoring civil liberties, reinvesting in infrastructure, and forcing Congress to have Skin in the Game. But many of Nader’s solutions require action by ordinary citizens—reengaging with civic life, building more self-reliant communities, taking back control over science and technology, and watchdogging Congress. Notably, Nader urges enlisting support from the enlightened super-rich to generate the modest but essential funding needed for campaigns to turn his other recommendations into reality. Timely, relevant ideas from a veteran of generations of battles for small-d democracy. --Mary Carroll

Review

It will be very good for the country if Nader’s revelations shock a new generation. This book is a subversive primer that should be read in every high school civics class. (William Greider, The Nation)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062083538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062083531
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a good follow-up to Nader's Seventeen Traditions. In it, he addresses the many ways in which Americans can united around different causes to bring the country back to the people. He offers ideas on how to get involved in citizen action post-Occupy and post-Recession. There are many solutions that range from large scale to community, and anyone interested in working in their town would find this book a good point-of-reference to start a new campaign or reinvigorate an existing one.

I recommend this book to new activists, age-old activists or just concerned citizens who think that the U.S. could use a new point of view to taking on corporations and a corrupt political system.
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Format: Paperback
I really like and admire Ralph Nader because he has devoted his entire adult life to working very hard to protect the common people of America from the corrupt and criminal predatory actions of corporate and government people in positions of power (often undeserved power).

And I praise Mr. Nader's new book for focusing on solutions, when most current reformers are focused on explaining what is wrong, but mostly fail to explain a truly adequate plan of action to solve our many urgent problems.

As a common American (and non-expert), I humbly offer the following basic critique of the solutions suggested by Mr. Nader (and many other respect-worthy reformers):

Most of the suggestions, while good, DEPEND ON our Congress, President, and Courts adopting and enforcing them -- and that is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN unless (and until) the American people FORCE our government to change and actually do what we want, need, and demand.

Our Congresses, Presidents, and Courts overwhelmingly and increasingly IGNORE what the common people want (on nearly every issue you can mention) -- and DO THE OPPOSITE -- because that is what the super-rich, the powerful corporations, and the military-spy empire demand.

So the suggestions of Mr. Nader (and all the other reformers I have read) seem to me to be somewhat "scattershot," futile, and not part of a carefully thought-through strategic sequence of goals and tactics.

I think this fatal flaw is why corporate-funded, right-wing think-tanks have outsmarted the liberals and the left for the past 40 years!
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Format: Paperback
Don't underestimate the power of Nader. A champion of consumer protection and democratic government, Ralph Nader has a track record of standing up for the common man, and implementing practical solutions. In 'Seventeen Solutions' he lists ideas on how to solve America's deepest problems.

The overall theme is civic engagement. If people had more organized discussions, paid attention to its congressmen, and stayed abreast of current events, positive changes could be made. We live in a country where the people have consistently pushed for ideals with only resilience and optimism as fuel. Because of strong willed individuals, we have organizations like Mothers against drunk driving (MADD) which has dramatically reduced drunk driving nationwide.

There are dozens of suggestions for people and communities to do such as: tax reform, ending corporate welfare, and creating congressional watch dog groups. It's hard keeping up with all the suggestions, as some range from calling a congress member from your district, to creating groups of 200 or more people. It may have been more practical to come up with 5-10 solutions, and a list of 'next steps' in each chapter to spur action.

Although plenty of Bush and Obama bashing is done, Nader's ideas aren't partisan. I think the majority of Americans, regardless or party, don't like corporate welfare, a dirty water supply, and would like more investment in public transportation. It's only that we lack the confidence to believe we can make a difference. Nader has started small on many fronts, and been able to create inspiring movements such as Princeton Project 55, Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), and dozens of non-profit organizations that make a difference for the common citizen.
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Nader's writing is terse yet easy-to-read. He provides documentation for facts, states problems concisely and provides insights we NEVER get from corporate-controlled media.

Most importantly, he does not just whine about our problems or try to place blame on one "side" of polarized issues. Instead, he provides practical solutions every concerned patriotic citizen should know.

He reveals insider-games politicians and their corporate sponsors play, then demonstrates how individual citizens CAN make a difference. The first step is knowledge. You can get much of that from this book, but he also provides resources for verifying facts and doing additional research.

Our political system is completely corrupt and dysfunctional. Our country's problems are deeply entrenched & intertwined. Yet, these problems are not insurmountable. You can find your voice and learn how to help change the world for the better with this book. Nader untangles complex knots of corruption and explains how informed citizenry has REAL power to untie those knots, permanently.

This little book is a practical message of positive action, not just "hope" as a vacuous campaign slogan. It leaves you feeling energized.

Get the book and read it. Spread these ideas. You will feel better and quite probably improve the world.
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