Home | About | Donate

Readers Think. Thinkers Read


Readers Think. Thinkers Read.

Ralph Nader

Here are my recommended books to read for the late summer holidays.


There’s certainly isn’t any light reading in that list.


Reign of Error is indispensible for those interested in education politics. I’ve used it to support presentations at professional conferences, but it’s still accessible to a mainstream audience.


Thanks Ralph, Another one, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. What government repression can do to it’s citizens.


Bolstering my reading of these truths will help me ignore the unprecedented hyperbole that election 2016 has produced and will increase during the next 70 plus days before E day.


professor, whenever i see the word politics imposed on education the word “indoctrination” pops into my head. i find it commendable that dianne ravich recognized the failures in a privatized system she helped to create and her willingness to publicly speak the truth about what she learned. the most important person in the classroom is the student! the most successful teachers reach out to the unique interests and aptitudes of every student encouraging each to feel involved in the learning process. so much today’s education is a vicarious experience droned in their heads.

i felt some skepticism when i saw #12 on nader’s list, Washington, D.C. History for Kids: The Making of a Capital City (With 21 Hands-On Activities), by Richard Panchyk, so i conducted a quick search for a book review and found:

Chronicling the rich and fascinating history of Washington, DC, this useful resource for teachers and parents, reveals to young readers the city’s remarkable past through 21 hands-on activities. Children will gather items for a building cornerstone’s time capsule, design a memorial for a favorite president, take a walking tour of the National Mall, and much more. The book also includes a time line and list of books, websites, and places to visit.

from this little blurb i find my skepticism justified. the section, “design a memorial for a favorite president,” alerts that the focus is on the few at the political top, not on the average citizen. in my mind that promotes “hero worship” and hierarchy. rather, i would suggest for birthday and holiday gifts howard zinn’s “a young peoples history of the united states”. zinn’s book tells of the many struggles and movements of ordinary citizens. sure the book provides political education as well, but many of the “heroes” are citizens who stood against the power structure and by extraordinary acts of courage have made a difference. the reader learns the names and actions of people just like her/himself and that you don’t have to be president to make a difference.


But I like Kool-Aid. Quit trying to get me to change brands.


Somebody should show the list to Donald Trump who claims he doesn’t read books. He has a lot of catching up to do. I think his display of a lack of knowledge over the last year and then some shows that at least on that statement about himself he actually isn’t lying.


Somebody who is 70 years old and never read books is unlikely to start.

Does PAINTED RED address the 2009 GM taxpayer funded bail out that GM used to buy back stock, close US factories and build so many new factories in China that more GM cars are now assembled in China than any other nation ?

The first Buicks made in China are arriving at US dealers’ showrooms as I write this,


Howard Zinn is great stuff.


Non-readers and non-thinkers run for office. Readers and thinkers don’t. Why is that?


Zinn I like.


I wonder if Ralph omitted this one on purpose. “Democracy for realists: why elections do not produce responsive government” by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels. This one really does make you think. Tons of studies by political scientists are cited.

Here is a blurb from the publisher, Princeton University Press.

Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues.


Achen and Bartels confirm the definition and extent of Identity politics.

Voters who are sports fans chose parties and politicians the same way they select their favorite sports team (party) and players (politicians), hence the oligarchs’ persistent effort to discount the viability of non red or blue parties and candidates, and make them as invisible as possible. Voters are as likely to support invisible candidates who rarely win as they are to support sports teams that are prevented from playing and rarely win.

A majority of “high information voters” are those who recite their party’s talking points, avoiding critical thinking in the process.

With so many good reads that never make Oprah’s or the NYT best sellers lists, its doubtful that Ralph purposely omitted anything. He could have easily come of with a list of 100 good reads on the subject. His list is a cross section.


Quite the list , and I have not had as much time as I would like to read much of late.

The title that I will likely try to get is “the Looting Machine”.

I think it incumbent for people in the wealthier Western nations to understand why it is so many peoples from Africa flee those regions to escape poverty and bloodshed. Too many feel that it somehow proves the Western countries are “superior” when in fact the people are just following the wealth that is being stolen from them.

It also why there suddenly a AFRICOM and the urgent need to “Fight terrorists in Africa”. codespeak for “we are stealing their wealth and polluting their lands and they do not like it”