By Ralph Nader
The following recent books invite the application of the aphorism, Readers Think, Thinkers Read. They also make good gifts for this Holiday season.
1. Fashionopolis: The Secrets Behind the Clothes We Wear by Dana Thomas (Dial Books, 2022). I learned much from this eyewitness story of the textile and fashion industry worldwide.
2. Who’s Raising the Kids? Big Tech, Big Business, and the Lives of Children by Susan Linn (The New Press, 2022) and You Are Your Own Best Teacher! Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens by Claire Nader (Essential Books, 2022). Both books will encourage you to rescue youngsters from controlling corporate hucksters and the addictive Internet Gulag.
3. 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting by E.J. Dionne Jr. and Miles Rapoport (The New Press, 2022). Even if you are skeptical about universal voting, the authors make it easy for you to change your mind.
4. The Greatest Evil is War by Chris Hedges (Seven Stories Press, 2022) and The Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine by Andrew Cockburn (Verso, 2021) and War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data and Predict the Future by Roberto J. González (University of California Press, 2022). These clear writers may motivate you to join or create groups that wage peace, starting with recapturing Congress, focusing first on your two Senators and Representatives.
5. The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party by Dana Milbank (Doubleday, 2022) and Demolition Agenda: How Trump Tried to Dismantle American Government, and What Biden Needs to Do to Save It by Thomas O. McGarity (The New Press, 2022). These narratives show how Trumpsters adversely affected your family and community’s livelihood, health and safety and favored giant corporations.
6. Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial by Corban Addison (Knopf, 2022) is likely to become a movie about brave local people using tort law and jury trials to take on giant industrial Pig Farms in North Carolina. We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth (The New Press, 2022) gives voice to first Natives. Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America by Joshua Frank (Haymarket Books, 2022) – exposes the expanding deadly radioactive threats at the Hanford Washington Testing Site. This three-book trilogy can be called The Poisoning of America.
7. Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice by David Enrich (Mariner Books, 2022) and American Cartel: Inside the Battle to Bring Down the Opioid Industry by Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham (Twelve, 2022). Both books report commercial ravages against justice and safety, and explain how the corporate crooks were shielded by corporate law firms.
8. Buyer Aware: Harnessing Our Consumer Power for a Safe, Fair, and Transparent Marketplace by Marta L. Tellado (PublicAffairs, 2022). The head of Consumer Reports highlights the tools you can use to outfox tricky sellers.
9. In my two books on improving conditions for all Americans, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think (City Lights Publishers, 2016) and The Day the Rats Vetoed Congress (Fantagraphics Books, 2020), I report how people made change, how to make greater overdue advances, and offer a Fable that makes you laugh yourself serious and rejoice in the practical arousal of the people to reclaim their Congress from the corporatists and then get justice done pronto. We need to imagine so as to envision real possibilities.
10. Between your reading feasts, maybe you will want to sit down to delicious, nutritious food feasts, and use The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook: Classic Recipes from Lebanon and Beyond. It includes mostly my mom’s great, simple recipes (Akashic Books, 2020). Parents looking for advice to convince children to be less picky eaters may want to read the introduction. Bon Appétit!