ME AND RALPH: Is Nader Unsafe for America? by David Sanford

ME AND RALPH: Is Nader Unsafe for America?

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The subtitle isn't there just to get a laugh. This is not a friendly book. Sanford, managing editor of the New Republic, has known Nader since 1965 and Unsafe At Any Speed, and he's had a bellyful of obeisance of the nation's press toward Citizen Nader living in his $85-a-month rented room, scorning vacations, laboring 18 hours a day in the ""public interest."" There's a dark underside to Nader and talking to disillusioned former associates, checking Nader's tax returns, and just poking around, Sanford pieces it together. ""Amok Raker"" is a man obsessed with secrecy, paranoid, intolerant of criticism. On the receipt and disbursement of funds the Nader staff is about as informative as Maurice Stalls and CREEP. His minions are systematically underpaid and overworked, moreover, in the name of ""public interest"" Nader's own special ""monopoly."" ""The oddest thing about Nader,"" says Sanford, is that his octopus organization ""has become very much like the corporations he sees as his enemies."" He goes on to charge Ralph (who refused to talk to him during the writing of this book) with contempt for democratic principles, unfairness to antagonists, and simple disregard of facts--and he documents what he says. Clearly, Sanford thinks that Ralph is just a little bit off, a man who has come to believe his own myth, an unelected potentate with a frightening ""lust for power"" and--apparently--a lot to hide. Sanford predicts Nader will call it all ""false and scurrilous."" Others will welcome it as a long overdue x-ray of the consumers' icon.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1976
Publisher: New Republic