IN 1965, Ralph Nader, a 31-year-old attorney, published Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile (Grossman), excoriating the Detroit, Michigan, automotive industry for its privileging of style and design over consumer safety. Nader's book eventually became a bestseller and, many believe, helped pass what became the country's first automobile safety legislation.

Nader had been interested in issues of consumer safety since he was a law school student at Harvard University and the editor of the Harvard Law Record. While editor, he published an article entitled, “American Cars: Designed for Death,” the first of several articles Nader wrote on this subject. He subsequently published articles in The Nation and in Personal Injury Annual, calling attention to Detroit's deliberate choice of making style a ...

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