North Star: A Memoir

“The North Star is one of the greatest symbols for justice stemming from the history of our people. “The North Star” was an expression that meant heading toward freedom as slaves tried to escape northward. It has become a symbol in my life of both the goal and the guiding light on the road ahead.”
—Peter Camejo, from North Star

This is the autobiography of a remarkable life. As the New York Times wrote, "A first generation Venezuelan-American . . . Mr. Camejo [spoke] out against the Vietnam War and for the rights of migrant workers. He marched in Selma, Alabama, with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King." As a veteran of the civil rights, antiwar, environmental, and socialist movements, Camejo’s was an impassioned voice of discontent. His many campaigns for public office provided a unique platform for challenging the priorities of a system that prizes profits above all else.

Camejo’s memoir describes a life devoted to the fight for a better world. His story traverses the Americas, bringing readers inside many of the defining movements of the last half century. The resulting book serves both as a record of Camejo’s uncompromising commitment to justice and equality and as a guide for the struggles to come.

"Peter was a friend, colleague, and politically courageous champion of the downtrodden and mistreated of the entire Western hemisphere." —Ralph Nader

About the author

Peter Camejo (1939–2008) campaigned for public office numerous times, including a bid for president as the Socialist Workers’ Party candidate in 1976. He also cofounded the California Green Party, and won 360,000 votes in his run for governor in 2002. He ran as Ralph Nader's vice presidential candidate in 2004. Camejo was also a pioneer of socially responsible investing and authored The SRI Advantage: Why Socially Responsible Investing Has Outperformed Financially. He also wrote Racism, Revolution, Reaction, 1861–1877: The Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction and edited California Under Corporate Rule.

Reviews

“Peter was a friend, colleague and politically courageous champion of the downtrodden and mistreated of the entire Western Hemisphere.”
—Ralph Nader

"How did the late Peter Camejo become politically active but independent of Democrats and GOPsters? Answers emerge in this posthumous memoir. Roused by a half-century of progressive struggle with people and movements here and abroad, he saw a young man speak publicly in Nicaragua after its revolution. This speaker connected with his audience by using simple words about their past and current lives, an approach Camejo adopted. Thus his memoir's title, North Star, the same name of the abolitionist paper that Frederick Douglass founded nearly two decades before slavery ended in the United States. Camejo ran for governor in California, for president and vice president of the nation. In his spare time, he launched socially responsible investing. Why such intensity? He opposed all forms of injustice and bloomed with the love and wisdom of his wife, Morella. An appendix on the U.S. two-party system wraps up Camejo's look back on a life that ended too soon."
—Seth Sandronsky, Sacramento News and Review