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Nader Crusader Spoiler Icon
By: Justin Martin

Posted December 22, 2003

Published by Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Book Group www. (ISBN: 0-7382-0857-4) $17.95 US $26.00 CAN

”A fine job of bringing Nader's impassioned, eccentric and notoriously private life into full, three-dimensional view.”—Washington Post Book World

About Nader

“The consummate public figure, Nader has led and idiosyncratic private life. He has never married or had children, asserting that his battles require total commitment. He is a fierce proponent of openness on the part of government and corporations—in fact, he is the primary architect of the Freedom of Information Act. When it comes to his own life, however, Nader has always been inordinately secretive...”—From the preface.

Either you love Ralph Nader, or you hate him. A polarizing figure if ever there were one, his work as a consumer advocate and automobile-industry critic has saved millions of dollars and millions of lives, yet his role as a third-party candidate likely cost Al Gore the 2000 election. He has inspired generations of reformers, yet he has infuriated—or at least perplexed—almost everyone with whom he has ever worked. As a result, most treatments of Nader have been either hagiographies or hatchet jobs. In NADER, Justin Martin gives us a balanced account, based on extensive research and access to Nader himself, as well as interviews with more than 300 people including Nader's family and his closest associates and friends.

Reaction to Crashing the Party—Nader's own account of the 2000 election (not to be mistaken for a full autobiography)—was lukewarm at best; many critics found it defensive and self-serving. Martin's book offers a rigorously reported and unbiased view of the 2000 election not found in Crashing the Party in addition to coverage of the sixty-six years of Nader's life leading up to the race—years that took him from his boyhood home in Connecticut, to Princeton, to Harvard Law, and on to Washington where he remains one of the most influential public figures of our time.

Praise for Nader

  • Justin Martin’s judicious biography underscores the dopiness of partisans, left and right, who consider Nader a wrecking ball smashing American free enterprise.”—Boston Globe

  • ”Will reward readers with immediacy, vitality, wit and an evenhanded portrait.”—Library Journal

  • This is the most authoritative biography to date of consumer movement leader and political activist Ralph Nader…. It gives as full a portrait of Nader as we are likely to get for some time,… Highly recommended.”—Choice

  • ”A welcome portrait, one from which the famed gadfly’s admirers and foes alike have much to learn.”—Kirkus Reviews

  • ”Clarif[ies] Nader's status as one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century... Those who see Nader as an icon will undoubtedly seek this out; even his enemies might check it out, looking for clues to what makes him tick.” —Publishers Weekly

  • A compelling account of the man for whom the title ‘consumer advocate’ was invented.”—Booklist

About the Author

Justin Martin is author of best-selling Greenspan: The Man Behind Money. The paperback edition was selected as a notable book for 2001 by The New York Times Book Review. He has written work published in Fortune, New York News Day, Newsweek, Poet and Writers and Worth. Martin is a 1987 graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas. He lives in York City with his wife and twin sons.


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