The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood (Paperback)

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"In these pages, I have tried to capture some of my family's traditions as I recall them today. . . . Such family traditions challenge the notion that the fads, technologies, how-to manuals, and addictions of modern life have somehow taken the place of the time-tested wisdom fashioned in the crucibles of earlier generations."

So writes Ralph Nader in the opening of this delightful and surprising book. Known for his lifetime of activism, Nader looks back in these page to his serene and enriching childhood in small-town Connecticut to reconnect with seventeen key traditions—from listening to learning, patriotism to argument, work to simple enjoyment—that he absorbed from his parents, his siblings, and his community. Warmly human, rich with sensory memories and lasting wisdom, it offers a modern-day parable of how we grow from children into responsible adults—a reminder of how family and friends can teach us how to live in a civil society.

  • 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
  • About the Author


    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.

    Praise for The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood…


    “The Seventeen Traditions brings us back to what’s important in life — and what makes America truly great.”
    -Jim Hightower, Illinois Times

    Product Details ISBN-10: 0062210645
    ISBN-13: 9780062210647
    Published: Harper Paperbacks, 10/01/2012
    Pages: 160
    Language: English