Nader, Ralph Good Fight, The

ISBN 13: 9780060756048

Good Fight, The

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9780060756048: Good Fight, The

The man who shook up American politics in 2000—and is doingso again in 2004—returns to hold both parties' feet to the fire with his straight talk about Bush, corporate government, and the whole political charade.

Ralph Nader—relentless activist, brilliant visionary—may also be the most honest man we've got left in politics. And yet from the moment Nader declared his presidential candidacy on Meet the Press, he's faced relentless opposition, mainly from Democrats fearing that competition from an inspiring independent could dent their voting block "as it did in 2000." Even his old pals at The Nation joined in the party panic.

Now, in The Good Fight, Nader swings back harder than ever at those who "want to block the American people from having more voices and choices" and have lost touch with the concept that votes must be earned, not inherited or entitled. He takes on corporate-occupied Washington and the government's daily abuse against ordinary citizens: "Corporations are saying no to the necessities of the American people. They're saying no to health insurance for everyone, no to a living wage, no to tax reform, no to straightening out the defense budget, which is bloated and redundant, no to access to our courts." And most of all, he urges a speedy return to stronger civic motivation. If fed-up citizens don't actively join the fight for improvement, then ultimately we have no one to blame but ourselves for the inadequate checks on the erosion of our civil liberties.

In an era when politicians sell us rhetoric and then sell out our principles, Nader stands as a crucial voice of candor. The Good Fight is a call to awareness and action that will captivate readers of all political stripes and help us define what we must do to shape the brightest future for our nation.

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Review:

The old analogy of apples and oranges, long used to describe things that are completely different, has been rejected by some due to the fact that apples and oranges are, scientifically speaking, extremely similar. For longtime activist, author, and occasional political candidate Ralph Nader, the Democratic and Republican parties, like apples and oranges, may offer different packaging, but are the same on the inside. In The Good Fight, Nader attacks both for their complicity in corporate America's attempts to solidify their power and wealth at the expense of the average citizen's health, job, food, environment and economic future. Still, Nader says, the biggest threat facing regular people comes from inside. "Our lack of civic motivation," he writes, "is the biggest problem facing our country today." And with that in mind, he offers a guide to the powerful institutions at work in the world as well as some advice on how to affect change. Having worked as a civic crusader for so long, Nader is able to present his indictments clearly and is especially compelling when telling the stories of common people who lose their livelihoods and sometimes their lives to corporate profiteering and who then often lose again when they or their families seek redress from a corrupt system where the politicians are in bed with the executives. Some Democrats have accused Nader of taking votes away from their candidates and handing the 2000 election to George W. Bush. Political junkies looking for counter-arguments are mostly out of luck here (John Kerry is mentioned once, Al Gore not at all, and no mention is made of any ambition to elected office) but it becomes clear in reading The Good Fight that Ralph Nader's political career is all about clearly communicating his message. And on that front, he is highly successful. --John Moe

About the Author:

Ralph Nader was recently named by the Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, one of only four living people to be so honored. The son of immigrants from Lebanon, he has launched two major presidential campaigns and founded or organized more than one hundred civic organizations. His groups have made an impact on tax reform, atomic power regulation, the tobacco industry, clean air and water, food safety, access to health care, civil rights, congressional ethics, and much more.

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