Don Fraser: Minnesota's Quiet Crusader

Don Fraser: Minnesota's Quiet Crusader

by Iric Nathanson


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In Don Fraser: Minnesota's Quiet Crusader, historian Iric Nathanson examines the life and career of one of Minnesota's  most beloved and influential statesmen. As a Minnesota state senator, U.S. congressman, and Minneapolis mayor,  Don Fraser was deeply involved in the key issues of his era, including the civil rights struggle, the war in Viet Nam, and the efforts to combat urban poverty.  Through his nearly 40 years in public office, he won the respect of both his constituents, who returned him to office time and again, and also of those who may have disagreed with his progressive approach to public policy but admired his personal honesty and integrity.

But Fraser’s career in politics had its ups and downs. He launched his political career in 1954 by ousting an entrenched legislative incumbent, and  scored a second upset victory when he defeated a well-known figure for a seat in the U.S. Congress. But sixteen years later, Fraser suffered his own unexpected defeat for a U.S. Senate nomination.  Fraser rebounded from this loss by returning home to Minneapolis to serve as the city’s mayor for 13 years.

The personal side of Fraser’s story also holds our interest.  It is the story of a man whose modest demeanor masked a strong inner drive and fierce resolve that surprised and often mislead those who battled with him in the public arena.  The story also involves a loving and mutually supportive marriage of 64 years to a woman whose expansive personality and public persona has, at times, outshone those of her more self-effacing husband. In the midst of their personal triumphs, Don and Arvonne Fraser also suffered the loss of two daughters, one through suicide, that left long-standing emotional scars.

During these difficult political times, Don Fraser's story offers much food for thought about the value of personal integrity and public service, and a stirring account of how communities can work together for change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947237025
Publisher: Nodin Press
Publication date: 01/20/2018
Pages: 242
Sales rank: 1,222,393
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword - Norman Ornstein ix

Introduction 3

1 The Early Years 8

2 Path to the House 25

3 On the Hill 38

4 Transitional Times 55

5 The Politics of War 67

6 Reforming the System 79

7 An International Agenda 92

8 Senate Battle 105

9 Coming Home 122

10 City Hall Seat 134

11 Struggle Over Structure 151

12 Bricks and Mortar 162

13 Social Dimension 177

14 Wrapping Up 192

15 Later Years 200

Epilogue: A Twenty-First-Century Perspective 206

Endnotes 208

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