Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ridgeway became nationally known known when he revealed in The New Republic that General Motors' had hired private detectives to tail consumer advocate Ralph Nader in an attempt to dig up information that might discredit him (Nader was behind litigation which challenged the safety of the Corvair). Ridgeway's revelations of the company's snooping and dirty tricks prompted a Senate subcommittee led by Senator Ribicoff to summon James Roche, president of GM, to explain his company's harassment -- and apologize. The incident catapulted auto safety into the public spotlight and helped send Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed (1965) to the top of the bestseller lists. 
Ridgeway is the author of fifteen books, including The Closed Corporation: American Universities in Crisis, The Politics of Ecology, and, more recently, The Haiti Files: Decoding the Crisis, Yugoslavia's Ethnic Nightmare (a collection co-edited with Jasminka Udovicki), A Pocket Guide to Environmental Bad Guys (with Jeffrey St. Clair), and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, the Rise of a New White Culture. He also wrote the text for Red Light: Inside the Sex Industry, with photographs by Sylvia Plachy. Ridgeway co-directed the companion film Blood in the Face, as well as Feed, a documentary on the 1992 presidential campaign. His articles have also appeared in New York Review of Books, Parade, [[Harper's Magazine|Harper's, The Nation, The Economist, The New York Times Magazine, and other magazines and newspapers.
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