Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
By Ralph Nader
Seven Stories Press £17.99, 736 pages
FT Bookshop price: £14.39
In Ralph Nader’s debut novel, the perennial US presidential candidate, anti-corporate activist and environmentalist has attempted to model “a fictional vision that could become a new reality”. In practice it’s an overextended campaign document whose characters deliver chunks of Nader’s philosophy.
He imagines a group of real-life billionaires who pool resources to rescue America, led by Warren Buffett. They speak in one harmonious voice – Nader’s: “Think global, revolutionise local.” They organise action groups, infiltrate company boards, stage demonstrations and try to unionise Walmart. The public responds with zeal.
It’s a true Nader vision to save humanity. Whether such a utopia is realistic depends on your view of his politics. As for the novel, only a believer could be engaged. For the rest of us, more nuance, more colour and more insight into the characters’ Damascene conversion is needed.