Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Ralph Nader's newest work of the imagination, Animal Envy, is a fable about the kinds of intelligences that are all around us in other animals. What would animals tell us—about themselves, about us—if there were a common language among all animal species? A bracingly simple idea, one that has been used before in books like George Orwell's Animal Farm and E. B. White's Charlotte's Web among others, but never like this. In Animal Envy, Ralph Nader proposes, quite plausibly, that a programmer has created a "digital translation" app whereby animals of different species, from insects to whales, can speak to one another, and through a "hyper-advanced converter" these animals can then also speak, both collectively and individually, to humans. It is decided that there will be a global assembly. It will be called "The Great Talkout." Humans are persuaded to reserve 100 hours of network coverage so The Great Talkout may begin and will be viewed by humans everywhere, in all human languages, as well as all animal languages.     

The narrative that ensues is deeply felt and powerfully informed. Just as he did when he wrote Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us, Nader shows here that his visionary genius knows no limits.

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“A tale of two kingdoms, mirroring the reflective insight of animals and closing eyes of human kind. Animal Envy is a clarion call!”

“It's good to see Ralph Nader turning his attention to the way we treat animals. Whether you love or hate the unusual framework he has chosen, the ideas he presents are important and demand our attention.”

“As to be expected from a book by Ralph Nader, Animal Envy is hard to pigeonhole—being equal parts science fiction, philosophy, science and nature reporting, tragedy, and comedy. What is clear is that the book provides a wildly imaginative, illuminating, often hilarious (and sometimes politically incorrect) look at the fraught relationship between humans and the fellow creatures with whom we tenuously share a fragile home. Most important, the book is a desperate plea (from the animals themselves) that we change that relationship before it is too late for both them and us.”

“Ralph Nader brings all of his formidable integrity and intelligence to this most important discussion of all: relations between humans and the rest of the world. We humans owe Nader a deep thank you for creating this crucial and far-reaching book.”

“Using results from research on the cognitive and emotional lives of animals, Mr. Nader weaves in plausible stories of what we can learn about their agenda if we take the time to talk with and listen carefully to them. All in all, Animal Envy is a highly original and visionary book that made me think deeply about human-animal relationships and how they must change as other animals plea for less violence and appeal for compassionate coexistence in the Anthropocene, an epoch that truly has become the rage of humanity.”

blog — November 21

Our 2016–2017 Academic Catalog is Here!

Our 2016–2017 academic catalog is here. Download the pdf, and send us an email at academic@sevenstories.com for any questions, comments, or desk or examination copy requests! The catalog's introductory letter to educators can be found below.

Dear educators,

It’s been a strange, trying year. From political coups to police violence to debates over free speech in our universities, the events of today demand an engaged, thorough understanding of the world we live in—not hot takes and misinformation. In our opinion, then, there’s never been a better time to be publishing imaginative, politically engaged voices. Now more than ever, students are eager for new perspectives on topics that once seemed uncontroversial, for independent voices to smash the idols of received wisdom.

No one better exemplifies this spirit of dogged independence than Noam Chomsky. Requiem for the American Dream, his first book devoted entirely to the subject of income inequality, provides a deeply learned, searing historical explanation of how the 99% have been disenfranchised by the ultra-rich. On the heels of his bestselling graphic biography Bernie, Ted Rall’s Trump combats knee-jerk reactions against the titular megalomaniac by telling the broader story of how America's economic decline paved the way for his prominence. Staying on the theme of the United States’ ills, Joel Berg’s America, We Need to Talk gives an in-depth guide to how American citizens can quit using politicians as scapegoats and take responsibility for their nation’s direction. Betsy Hartmann’s The America Syndrome makes the provocative case that apocalyptic thinking has always shaped the American ethos—and that an obsession with the end times has proved more harmful than any other supposed threat. And to round out our red-white-and-blue theme, there’s Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America, a glorious new take on de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America for our ravaged nation.

At Seven Stories, we believe that the imaginative and the analytical are two sides of the same coin. Just as our nonfiction titles are works of inspiration, our fiction titles are engaged with the world. To see what we mean, one need look no further than Ralph Nader’s Animal Envy, a modern-day political fantasy from one of our country’s greatest public advocates. Or Martin Duberman’s Jews Queers Germans, a work of historical fiction that imagines the influential, mostly gay milieu around Kaiser Wilhelm at the turn of the 20th Century. Or the award-winning The Boer War, by Martin Bossenbroek, which intertwines the lives of a young Winston Churchill, a dutch diplomat, and an Afrikaans general, to give us a Rashomon tale of the birth of Apartheid. Finally, Kia Corthron’s magnificent historical novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter deftly bridges the political and the poetic in its sweeping look at family, race and loss over the course of an American half-century.

This is just a sample of what you’ll find inside the 2016–2017 academic catalog, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be sharing this list with educators from around the world. We may publish the following titles, but it’s you who bring them to life—by engaging with these books and passing them on, by modifying them and enriching them with your own individual perspectives. And for that we thank you.

At Seven Stories, our policy is to provide you free examination copies of any Seven Stories books in the field in which you teach, without any obligation on your part to adopt the book. Just drop us a line at academic@sevenstories.com. We’d be happy to send you books or answer any questions you might have.

In solidarity,
Seven Stories Press

 

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Born in Connecticut in 1934, RALPH NADER has spent his lifetime challenging corporations and government agencies to be more accountable to the public. His 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed permanently altered the course of a reckless U.S. automobile industry and made Nader a household name. His lobbying and writing on the food industry helped to ensure that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of Nader’s greatest achievements was his successful lobbying for a 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act, which gave increased public access to government documents. Over the years he has co-founded the public interest groups Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. His 2000 presidential campaign on the Green Party ticket served to broaden the scope of debate on the nation’s priorities. Named by the Atlantic as one of the hundred most influential figures in American history, Nader continues to be a relentless advocate for grassroots activism and democratic change. He lives in Washington, D.C.