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The Seventeen Traditions
by Ralph Nader


Publication Date: January 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Binding: Hardcover, 160pp



By the legendary activist and humanitarian: A surprising and moving look back at a small-town family and the traditions that shaped a childhood.

Ralph Nader is known for his lifetime of progressive activism and fearless critique of corruption in American politics and society. Yet in this fresh and inspiring new book, Nader takes a look backward - at a serene and enriching childhood spent in bucolic Winsted, Connecticut, and at the traditions he absorbed within his family. From listening to learning, from patriotism to argument, from work to simple enjoyment, Nader revisits seventeen traditions he learned from his parents, his siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today’s society. Blending memoir and thoughtful inspiration, Nader offers readers a chance to look back on a time in American history when the family and the natural world were central in a child’s understanding of how to be a conscientious adult.

Among the seventeen traditions he celebrates:

* The Tradition of Listening

* The Tradition of Charity

* The Tradition of Civics

* The Tradition of Work

* The Tradition of Patriotism

* The Tradition of Simple Enjoyment

In his warmest and most personal writing to date, Nader fondly describes his father's restaurant business and how it taught him about work, community and how to share in the spirits of others; the value of his mother's ethnic cooking and how it defined his relationship with his heritage, and the hours he spent as a child wondering through the undeveloped forests of Connecticut where he learned the value of solitude. In doing so, he reawakens our own memories of the blessings of a simpler time-and of the enduring values of family, community, and love that gave him the courage to lead a meaningful life.


Ralph Nader was recently named by the Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, one of only four living people to be so honored. The son of immigrants from Lebanon, he has launched two major presidential campaigns and founded or organized more than one hundred civic organizations. His groups have made an impact on tax reform, atomic power regulation, the tobacco industry, clean air and water, food safety, access to health care, civil rights, congressional ethics, and much more.

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