Ralph Nader—attorney, activist, author, and frequent presidential candidate—became a national figure with the publication of his 1965 muckraker, Unsafe at Any Speed, which exposed the safety hazards of American cars. The success of that study in corporate negligence not only made him the target of an ugly smear campaign by General Motors, but it helped him amass an army of dedicated volunteers, the self-described Nader's Raiders, who worked with him to create several other volumes of consumer advocacy. Nader also penned a 2002 memoir, Crashing the Party, about his controversial and by most measures incredibly successful third-party campaign for president in 2000, which turned him into either a spoiler and demagogue or one of the few torch-bearers of true progressive politics in America, depending on who you ask. (We would argue the latter.) His latest book, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us (Seven Stories Press), is a work of speculative fiction that imagines the repercussions of an accord among several of the wealthiest Americans to reshape the country's political system in the image of progressive populism. Nader will be on hand for a reading from his debut novel. For more info call Magers & Quinn at 612.822.4611.
Wed., Sept. 30, 7 p.m., 2009