Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
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Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  33 reviews
"In the cozy den of the large but modest house in Omaha where he has lived since he started on his first billion, Warren Buffett watched the horrors of Hurricane Katrina unfold on television in early September 2005. . . . On the fourth day, he beheld in disbelief the paralysis of local, state, and federal authorities unable to commence basic operations of rescue and susten...more
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Published January 4th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published September 1st 2009)
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Chad Bearden
Oh, Ralph, you starry-eyed dreamer. The sheer amount of ridiculous optimism and faith in humanity is almost enough to make you gag. If your political views skew away from Mr. Nader's particular vision of utopia, there is no way you'd make it past even the first ten pages of this book. If you're a fan of his populist brand of civic-mindedness, you may still find yourself unable to get through a few chapters. This is not an elegently written novel, and is chock-full of tediously detailed speeches...more
David
I am not finished with this, and I probably won't, but here are some preliminary thoughts, as I’ve almost put this book down about a dozen times already in annoyance:

--Nader writes very clumsy fiction, where all the characters are interchangeable. If you covered up the names next to the quotes, you would not be able to determine who was speaking by the mannerisms or personalities of the person speaking.
--Much like when a TV show is billed as an “event,” this book is almost presented as an “event...more
Tabitha
It is very obvious this book was written before 2008. Had I read it when it was a new release, I think I would have been enamored of it. Nadar writes, in this work of fiction, what would happen if the super-rich combined their fortunes, power, intellect and creativity to make the U.S. a better and more egaliterian place to live. Many of the ideas presented a great, like making corporations rent to public airwaves (rather than have them given away, as they currently are), or having stockholders a...more
Sam
I read this whole book. It nearly killed me, but I read every word. All 734 boring, boring, boring pages of it.

Let me start by saying I love Ralph Nader for his integrity, his idealism, and his uncompromising morality. He's done more for this country on any random day of his life than most people do in the entirety of theirs. He has some great ideas for this country, and a clear vision of justice for all Americans.

That said, he can't write fiction for crap. Excuse me, he calls this book a "pract...more
Liza
Oct 15, 2009 Liza marked it as will-i-ever-finish-these-books  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Ralph Nader, you know I love you, so it pains me that I can't continue to read your novel. It's just too painful and awkward an experience for me. Bill Cosby as a superhero who stars in an activist commercial? More awkward than those sweaters he wears.

This novel is hawked as his answer to Atlas Shrugged. Well, that was a terrible book, and one that I struggled through at age 16, because I lived in Texas and it seemed the right thing to do for those skeptical about government. So I just imagi

...more
Melanie
Excellent guide to a bloodless revolution disguised as a novel.
Jared Della Rocca
Ralph Nader's latest novel is both uplifting and depressing, not a common combination of feelings. The novel's uplifting nature is that with the proper organizational framework, the capital-p People of this nation could change the direction with seven pieces of legislation. The legislation would move this country from its steady progress towards oligarchical fascism (oligarchy: government by the few for selfish purposes; fascism: utilizing the ideals of nation over the individual, combined with...more
John
Aug 25, 2010 John rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: progressives, dreamers, optimists, fans of utopian/dystopian lit
Recommended to John by: Ralph Nader
Shelves: fiction
I saw Mr. Nader at the bookstore in Union Station while I was waiting for my train to board. He seemed a bit lonely, so I went over to say hello. He had stacks of several of his books on the table, but this was the only one I hadn't yet read, so I bought a copy and he signed it.

Daunting to get into (running at 700+ pages) and slow to develop, this absurdly optimistic American utopian fantasy is easy to abandon. But I'm glad I didn't. Yes, the characters are indistinguishable, the dialogue prete...more
Kurtbg
What if the the super rich got together and decided to fight US corporatocracy?
That's what Ralph Nader takes on in this fictional story about Warren Buffett putting together
a rich dream team to counter the control of self-serving individuals and corporations over American politics. This was apropos as Warren Buffett just had his NYT op-ed piece about the mega-rich giving something back published.

In the book was a basic plan to counter and support taking back the country for the people. The strat...more
Lucy
Feb 16, 2010 Lucy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: young people
I occasionally have voted for Ralph Nader for president. This book could be adapted into a humorous movie. It is a blueprint for a revolution whose only violence is the kidnapping of a parrot that squawks “wake up wake up.”
16 well-known men and Yoko Ono mastermind “chaordic” actions, this word being a blend of “chaos” with “order.” Sample chaordic actions are: change the Pledge of Allegiance to “liberty & justice for some” while administering a lie detector test—to get people to think; sun...more
Susan
Mar 03, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I really want to read; it fascinates me. I got to almost page 200. However, it takes more time and concentration than I am willing or able to give right now, so I'm taking it back to the library and keeping it in my queue for later. Ralph Nader is my hero. He thinks about things in a way no one else does, and this novel is his way of showing the world that we can make things better. The Super-Rich in the novel spearhead the changes, but it's the people, you and I, who really...more
Neil Crossan
Sep 06, 2010 Neil Crossan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Neil by: Ralph Nader
At the center of this book is a terrific idea that has gained traction with Buffett in the real world, although the reality is a lot less political to it's detriment. But in the novel's completed form, Ralph missed an opportunity to speak to a new audience. A Nader novel? That might get some traction, but when people see the yellowed cover behemoth on the shelf, they leave it be. It's WAY too long. And it's missing many fiction elements like character development, a rising plot a well defined co...more
Barbara
I have always admired Ralph Nader and his passion for consumer protection. I was quite intrigued with his ideas and the idealism he displays. However, the reading became tedious. I don't know whether it as too detailed or too long winded. I was interested in the concepts brought forward but I could not finish the book. I may, in the future, try to wade through the many pages again. I loved the content, but could not stay motivated to continue to the end. Very puzzling.
Molly
Ralph, I love you so much, but I can't do this to either one of us. If I keep reading, I won't be able to look you in the face. It's too awkward.

Also, I'm already convinced. I don't need to read this. Except the 30 pages I read before stopping.

One question: why did the library who bought this book catalog it as non-fiction??? I don't know if a book could be much more fictitious than Warren Buffet hanging out in a cave with Yoko Ono planning to save the world.
David Jedeikin
Another great idea that fell flat: Ralph Nader's bit of speculative fiction about "what if" the super-rich actually took on the task of explicitly saving the world (something many of us feel they should be doing with their oft-unfairly-begotten gains). It's too long, too pedantic, too rambling... if this were a terse 200-pager, possibly done as a fictitious series of print articles, it would be captivating and gripping... but in this form it just doesn't work.
Rachel
I'm a totally receptive audience, and still this book was long, annoying, and boring. It's entirely uninteresting as a novel, since it doesn't really have plot or characters. And how can I get fired up about issues discussed if I don't know for certain what bits of them might be fictional? I know it would have added even more length, but a footnote or two would have helped clarify things.
Gwenyth
Although I think Ralph Nader is fascinating, I found this book excruciating to read, and I gave up with about 100 pages left. Not because of the ideas proposed, but just because of the format - it's basically an extended Nader speech disconcertingly funneled through the mouths of people like Yoko Ono. I will definitely try to pick up some of Nader's nonfiction in the future, though.
Joseph Young
Was unable to finish the book in the time allotted. Nader makes some great points and arguments for the left wing, and does a great job of ripping apart the not altogether obvious mistruths propagated by those with their own interests, and those not unaware of other consequences.

The one downside is that in the book the left can do no wrong. It's a pure good vs evil type of book.
Dawn Wallhausen
Sep 15, 2010 Dawn Wallhausen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Fiction by Ralph Nader... who knew? Great plot using one real set of actions taken by Warren Buffet to alleviate suffering in NOLA after Hurricane Katrina as a springboard. Many characters and facts are real.

The dialog is a little bit awkward in places, it's not perfect, but very entertaining and informative, thus far.
James Stout
Aug 10, 2010 James Stout is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I pulled this off the new releases shelf in the library today because it looked funny. I started to read it and found that it was actually pretty entertaining. The idea is Nader creating some kind of utopia where the Buffets and Gates type people decide to use their massive hoards to save the world.
Carmen Tourney
Jul 07, 2010 Carmen Tourney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone
Extremely long but excellent book. The first fiction book by Ralph Nader it is as several people have said "wishful thinking" but oh, what wishful thinking. As "silly" as the premise is, it sucked me right in. I read all just under 750 pages in 4 sittings and a little less than half in 1.
Hollis
I got this out on the recommendation of a friend (and was shocked at the length and the face that it was 'quasi-fiction'. I only read a few pages and was put off by his rhetoric. It's an interesting idea, but not one for which I'm willing to read 1000 pages.
Michael
A very detailed and thorough look at what America (and the rest of us) could look like if more people (super rich in particular) became much more motivated by social conscience than by profit. A page turner for those of us who care about the future.
David
I won't lie, I did not read 700 plus pages in two days. This is not a good book. Mr. Nader might be a good activist but he's no writer of a novel. In the pages I did read it seems that all he knows how to write are speeches. Sorry, but I'll pass.
JoAnn Jordan
This is a very good book. It is fiction but tells the story of how our country could be changed if a movement began with the super-rich. I would recommend the book highly if one was interested in society's change.
Jack
I agree with much of Ralph Nader's politics, but this book is barely readable. Terrible plotting, god-awful dialogue, and evidently an overweening belief that wishing can make it so.
Deb Holden
I could not finish this very long book as the time expired on the library loan but what I read I liked. It is very long - over 700 pages.
James Spada
It lacks a clarity in its goal and in that limits its ability to make the determinations needed to achieve those goals.
Jennifer Lee
Didn't finish the book, just too much idealism that makes my life look depressing n terrible.
Steven
Long but just plain amazing. Eye opening and inspiring.
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Nader 5 18 May 27, 2013 08:50PM  
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American attorney, author, lecturer, political activist, and candidate for President of the United States in five elections, including the last election 0f 2008, with his role in the 2000 election in particular being subject to much debate.

Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer rights, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government. Nader is the first Arab American pr...more
More about Ralph Nader...
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“Moral courage is the highest expression of humanity ...” 4 likes
“Members of Congress are like the voters in one respect -- they want to go with the winners.” 3 likes
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