From a pamphlet I got at a Nader lecture I just attended:
Honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans
of the Twentieth Century, consumer activist Ralph Nader has devoted
his life to giving ordinary people the tools they need to defend themselves
against corporate negligence and government indifference.
With a tireless, selfless dedication, he continues to expose and remedy
the dangers that threaten a free and safe society. In 1965, Nader
took on the Golaith of the auto industry with his book, Unsafe at
Any Speed, a shocking expose of the disregard car makers held for
the safety of their customers. The Senate hearing into Nader's
accusations and the motor vehicle laws that resulted catapulted Nader
into the public sphere.
Nader whickly built on the momentum of that success. Working with
lawmakers, he was instrumental in creating the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OHSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Laws he helped draft
and pass include the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection
rules, and the Freedom of Information Act. Working to empower the
average American, Nader has formed numerous citizen groups, including
the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Pension Rights Center,
the Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest, and the student
public interest research groups (PIRGs) that operate in over twenty states.
In his latest citizen initiative, he is working with alumni classes, including
his own at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to redirect
their efforts from parties and reunions to volunteerism and community projects.
Believing that Republicans and Democrats are so close ideologically
he calls them "tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum," Nader organized presidential
campaigns in 1992 and 1996 to challenge the "duopoly" of the two-party
system. His goal is to build the foundation of a third political
party that rallies around issues rather than colorful figureheads.
His best-sselling books include Winning the Insurance Game, Why
Women Pay More, and Getting the Best from Your Doctor.
His most recent consumer education books are Children First: A Parents
Guide to Fighting Corporate Predators and No Contest: Corporate
Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America.
Nader is listened to intently by both private and corporate audiences.
Years after they graduate, college students tell him how his lecture
evening changed their lives. His message is simple and compelling:
"To go through life as a non-citizen would be to feel that there's nothing
you can do, that nobody's listening, that you don't matter. But to
be a citizen is to enjoy the deep satisfaction of seeing pain prevented,
misery avoided, and injustice decline."