MIDWAY through lunch at a fashionable Washington restaurant not long ago, a young man named Ralph Nader stopped suddenly and gazed down in disgust at his chef's salad. There, nestled among the lettuce leaves, lay a dead fly. Nader spun in his chair and jabbed both arms into the air to summon a waiter. Pointing accusingly at the intruder on his plate, he ordered: "Take it away!" The waiter apologized and rushed to produce a fresh salad, but Nader's anger only rose. While his luncheon companions watched the turmoil that had erupted around him, Nader launched into a detailed indictment of...

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