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Review of Seventeen Traditions

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Ralph Nader is "one of the 100 most influential figures in American history". He and his civic groups have worked hard to benefit the American people. In his memoir of The Seventeen Traditions, Nader illustrates that traditions are very important for children to shape their lives and have huge influences on their career success. From his own childhood experiences, Nader describes 17 traditions "he absorbed from his parents, his siblings, and the people in his community". He primarily attributes his success to his parents' own traditions and the way they passed their traditions onto him.

One of the traditions Nader describes is the importance of listening to others. He believes that listening more and speaking less can improve people's skills of "interacting with and understanding a far broader selection of people", making people more successful in their career. I completely agree with this point because during a business negotiation, good listening is the key factor to win. The experienced negotiators often take more time to listen than to speak. They try to encourage the other party to speak more while carefully listening to every word the other party says. In the meantime they keep absorbing as much information as they can so that they can understand the other party's strengths and weaknesses and use those to their own advantages.

Next, the tradition of reciprocity is another valuable trait given to Nader by his parents. To simply put, treat others with kindness and you will receive kindness in return. In his book, Nader specifically talks about the reciprocal relationship between children and parents in his family. As he describes it, the parents care for the children when they are young, and the children in turn care for their parents when they grow old, which is something I can also relate to. My grandfather passed away when my mother and her four other siblings were still very young. Despite the great difficulty of being a single mother, my grandmother managed to take good care of all of her children and helped them succeed in life. After she became old, she moved in with my mother and received good care from her till this day. When my parents grow old, I will no doubt do the same for them. So the cycle gets passed down from one generation to the next.

Overall, reading The Seventeen Traditions has been a pleasure. I like the simple and straight-forward writing style by Nader. Every one of the traditions he includes in the book is concise, and he usually goes straight to the point. However, I find that the introduction chapter could have been shorter. The amount of details he uses to describe his hometown, Winsted, seems a bit excessive. The main topic of his book is about his family traditions, and all the extra information about his hometown tends to divert the readers' attention away from that topic. I think writing just a few pages about Winsted's



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