HIT AND RUN: The Rise -- and Fall? -- Ralph Nader by Ralph de Toledano

HIT AND RUN: The Rise -- and Fall? -- Ralph Nader

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A painfully vituperative assault, this account of Nader's shortcomings verges on caricature of Nader's own exposes which the author so maligns. To his credit, Toledano makes a few reasonable points: Nader has been made a modern-day saint by some -- even the press was uncritical at one time; Nader's ""reports"" are frequently flawed; he manages his organizations ruthlessly. But Toledano declares, ""For Ralph Nader, life is black or white"" (surely a virtue in a polemicist), then slams him for ""complete lack of loyalty to anyone, as well as. . .ingratitude."" At times the author's prejudices get the best of him and drive him into puerile invective about Nader's pot-smoking ""shock troops"" and a desperate search for financial discrepancies in the Nader organizations -- but he finds mere straws. Toledano sees Nader's drive to impeach Nixon as a purely personal vendetta; he cannot believe Nader might have had rational grounds. The author's analyses of the ""reports"" are sometimes critical, but more often rest on hearsay and curbstone psychoanalysis: ""Everything about him is sullied by the scares of existence. Alone of all men, he is clean."" Nader might make a fascinating psychological study, but we must wait for an approach less amateurish and biased.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Arlington House