Four generations of Americans have come to associate Ralph Nader with the political issues that have defined our age, be it car safety in the 1960s or the anti-WTO demonstrations that recently shut down Seattle. His work has successfully shaped the Left, increased government accountability, made possible new laws, and served as a powerful check against abuses of corporate power. In this landmark collection, the essays that reveal the intellectual, social, and political underpinnings of this legendary citizen advocate are brought together for the first time. In The Ralph Nader Reader, we follow the trajectory of Nader's concerns from 1956 to the present and his personal evolution from consumer advocate to presidential candidate. The result is a monumental book, an invaluable resource for anyone interested in a unique vision of democracy that places citizenship over consumerism, communities over corporations, and public interest over private power.
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.