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The Life and Times of Ron Brown: A Memoir

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9780688153205: The Life and Times of Ron Brown: A Memoir
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The daughter of the late secretary of commerce, who died in a plane crash over Croatia in 1996, shares a touching account of the person and the politician, focusing on the many firsts he accomplished as a minority achiever in a predominantly white world. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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In his introduction to this book, President Bill Clinton praises the late Ron Brown for his revitalization of both the Democratic Party and the Department of Commerce. With a blend of personal reminiscence and journalistic detail, his daughter Tracey shows how Brown lived up to Clinton's description.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brown became arguably the most powerful African-American in American politics through his stewardship of the Democratic National Committee. While George Bush's approval ratings soared through the roof, and his reelection in 1992 seemed a foregone conclusion, Brown worked tirelessly behind the scenes to unite the party, playing a crucial role in Bill Clinton's victory. He was powerful enough to negotiate with Clinton over exactly which Cabinet post he would accept; acquaintances suggest that he had his eyes on the long-term goal of becoming the first African-American president.

In his role as Secretary of Commerce, Brown built upon the legacy of his work at the National Urban League under Whitney M. Young Jr., fighting to make opportunities for economic improvement available not only to all Americans, but to other participants in the global economy. It was on a trade mission to Croatia that Brown died in a fatal plane crash.

Tracey L. Brown takes the opportunity to celebrate her father's life and refute critics who, during the tenure of his Cabinet post and after his death, have leveled demonstrably false charges of corruption against him. She also recounts the efforts of her family and relatives of the other 34 victims of the crash to obtain explanations for what went wrong; in addition, she deals with the persistent rumors that Brown's death was an assassination rather than an accident due to Air Force negligence.

About the Author:

Tracey L. Brown is a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles.

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