Descriptive Summary
Administrative Information
Restrictions
Biographical Note
Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Related Material
Series Descriptions and Folder Listing
OHBRO01A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 June 9
OHBRO01B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 June 9
OHBRO01C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3 1987 June 9
OHBRO02A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 June 22
OHBRO02B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 June 22
OHBRO02D, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 4 1987 June 22
OHBRO03A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 June 29
OHBRO03B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 June 29
OHBRO03C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3 1987 June 29
OHBRO04A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 July 15
OHBRO04B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 July 15
OHBRO05A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 July 28
OHBRO05B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 July 28
OHBRO05C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3 1987 July 28
OHBRO06A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1 1987 August 18
OHBRO06B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2 1987 August 18
OHBRO06C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3 1987 August 18
OHBRO07, Interview with Dean Rusk 1987 September 23
OHBRO08, Interview with Jimmy Carter 1987 November 10
OHBRO09, Interview with James T. Laney 1987 September 23
OHBRO10, Interview with Fred C. Davison 1987 September 24
OHBRO11A, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 1 1988 September 21
OHBRO11B, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 2 1988 September 21
OHBRO11C, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 3 1988 September 21
OHBRO12A, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 1 1987 February 25
OHBRO12B, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 2 1987 February 25
OHBRO12C, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 3 1987 February 25
OHBRO13, Interview with D.W. Brooks undated
D. W. Brooks Oral History CollectionD. W. Brooks Oral History Collection

D. W. Brooks Oral History Collection

Descriptive Summary

Title: D. W. Brooks Oral History Collection
Creator Brooks, D. W. (David William), 1901-1999
Dates 1987-1988
Extent 13.0 interviews
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractD. W. Brooks was a major figure in American agriculture. He was the founder and leader of Gold Kist, a farm cooperative, for almost fifty years and also served as an agricultural advisor to several U.S. Presidents. This collection consists primarily of oral history interviews with D.W. Brooks conducted by Brian S. Wills. D.W. Brooks discusses his family background, his childhood in Royston, Ga., his education, and his involvement with the Methodist church. He speaks extensively about topics related to farming and agriculture in Georgia, including the founding and development of Gold Kist, the poultry industry, fish and cattle production, cotton farming, and the federal government's involvement with farming co-ops. Brooks also discusses his contribution as an agricultural advisor to United States presidents and world leaders. Complimentary interviews in this collection with individuals such as former President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State Dean Rusk provide additional perspectives on Brooks and his contributions.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

D. W. Brooks Oral History Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Processing Information note

Original and transfer media formats for this collection include audiocassettes and open reel tapes.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

User reference copies of the audiovisual recordings may be available upon request. Availability is dependent upon the condition of the recordings.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.


Biographical Note

David William Brooks (1901-1999), a farmer and cooperative executive, was born in Royston, Georgia. Brooks entered the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1918 and earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture. Concurrent to his Master's studies, Brooks taught agronomy at the university for four years and founded his first farm cooperative, the Georgia Cotton Growers Cooperative Association in Carrollton, in 1921, while he was teaching. In 1925, Brooks left UGA to devote all of his time to his cooperative. Due to a variety of factors, this cooperative failed. Upon the association's demise in 1933, Brooks immediately started another farm cooperative called the Georgia Cotton Producers Association. Renamed Cotton Producers Association (CPA) in 1934, and Gold Kist in 1974, this cooperative proved successful. By the late twentieth century, the company achieved Fortune 500 status and is currently a leading exporter of poultry in the world. Brooks started with CPA as the manager in 1933, and by his retirement at age 65, he was Chairman of the Board.

In 1941, Brooks also founded the Cotton Farmers Mutual Insurance Association, a company that provided fire and windstorm insurance to farmers. In 1955, Brooks set up a life insurance company for farmers, Cotton States Life and Health. Both companies have achieved continued success since their respective inceptions.

Brooks' agribusiness acumen and experience privileged him to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Brooks also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agribusiness Industry Advisory Committee. In 1954 he was a delegate to the American Assembly, which proposed changes in the United Nations Charter. He served as director of the Foundation for American Agriculture; Agricultural Missions, Inc., New York; and the National Council of Farmer Cooperative; and Chairman of the Board of Farmers Chemical Association in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At 86 years old, Brooks returned to the University of Georgia as a visiting professor of Agricultural Economics. Brooks' contributions to the University of Georgia prompted the university to name a pedestrian mall on South Campus after him, D.W. Brooks Mall.

D.W. Brooks was active in the Methodist Church and a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Atlanta. He was a member of the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, NY, and vice president of its World Division. Brooks and his wife, Ruth, established an endowed chair in World Christianity at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Brooks was chairman of the Committee of One Hundred for the Candler School of Theology. Brooks served as a trustee at Emory University, Wesleyan College in Macon, Reinhardt College in Waleska, and the Lake Junaluska Assembly, Inc. in North Carolina. He was a member of the University of Georgia Foundation.

D.W. Brooks received numerous honors and awards during his lifetime. Highlights include: First inductee into the University of Georgia's Agricultural Hall of Fame (1972); WSB Television and Atlanta Gas Light Company's Shining Light Award (1977); elected to Cooperative League of the United States Hall of Fame (1979); Man of the Year in Community and Rural Development by Cooperative Extension Service at UGA (1979); honorary degrees from Morris Brown College and Emory University.

On August 6, 1930, D.W. Brooks married Ruth McMurray. They had two children, David William Brooks, Jr., and Nancy Ruth Brooks.


Scope and Content

This collection consists primarily of oral history interviews with D.W. Brooks conducted by Brian S. Wills. D.W. Brooks discusses his family background, his childhood in Royston, Ga., his education, and his involvement with the Methodist church. He speaks extensively about topics related to farming and agriculture in Georgia, including the founding and development of Gold Kist, the poultry industry, fish and cattle production, cotton farming, and the federal government's involvement with farming co-ops. Brooks also discusses his contribution as an agricultural advisor to United States presidents and world leaders. Complimentary interviews in this collection with individuals such as former President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State Dean Rusk provide additional perspectives on Brooks and his contributions.


Organization and Arrangement

Interviews (both audio and transcripts) are organized by an Oral History (OH) number in a loosely chronological arrangement. The Oral History number is a combination of the abbreviation for “Oral History” (OH); the initials or an abbreviation of the name of the collection name—in this case, Brooks—(BRO); a number representing the sequence of the interview (01); and a letter indicating the segment of the interview. Examples: OHBRO05A is Part 1 of the 5th interview and Brian S. Wills first interview with D.W. Brooks comprises OHBRO1A, OHBRO1B, and OHBRO1C.


Related Collections in this Repository

D.W. Brooks Papers

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 131 Abit Massey


Related Collections in Other Repositories

James T. Laney Collection, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia


Access Points

Agriculture, Cooperative Georgia.
Agriculture, United States International cooperation.
Cotton Producers Association
Cotton States Mutual Insurance Co.
Cotton trade, United States.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Emory University.
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-
Gold Kist Inc.
Insurance, Cooperative Georgia.
International economic relations.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Methodists--Georgia.
Oral histories.
Sound recordings.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

OHBRO01A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 June 9

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ childhood in Royston, Ga., his father, his educational background, his views on education and teaching, his conversion to Methodism, the beginning of his co-ops with farmers, and the beginning of Gold Kist in 1933.
OHBRO01A transcript 37.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 01AOHBRO01A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO01B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 June 9

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the Gold Kist philosophy, technology in broilers, the resurrection of the peanut industry, and Brooks’ mother’s philanthropy.
OHBRO01B transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 01BOHBRO01B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO01C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3, 1987 June 9

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ ancestors’ involvement in the Civil War, his early life, his siblings, his work ethic and schedule, and his father’s political views.
OHBRO01C transcript 38.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 01COHBRO01C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO02A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 June 22

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include life at the University of Georgia, the beginnings of Brooks' cotton co-op and the shift to poultry (Gold Kist), Gold Kist’s importance in the popularization of poultry production, Gold Kist expanding their business to include fish and cattle production, and Brooks' son and daughter.
OHBRO02A transcript 35.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 02AOHBRO02A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO02B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 June 22

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ wife and children, the federal government’s involvement with co-ops, troubles encountered with traditional farming methods, methods of operation in growing cotton, and overseas expansion.
OHBRO02B transcript 37.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 02BOHBRO02B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO02D, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 4, 1987 June 22

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Senator Russell, integration, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and McGovern.
OHBRO02D transcript 37.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 02DOHBRO02D original media 1.0 audiocassette
OHBRO02C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3, 1987 June 22
Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the commodity credit, working with Roosevelt and Truman, the atomic bomb, being on the War Board, being involved with Point Four, “Stomach Communism,” and Eisenhower.
OHBRO02C transcript 38.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 02COHBRO02C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO03A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 June 29

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, the embargo on Russia, the Iran hostage crisis, Ronald Reagan, and prospects for the 1988 presidential elections.
OHBRO03A transcript 34.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 03AOHBRO03A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO03B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 June 29

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ involvement in fighting world hunger, the Hunger Commission, and Emory University.
OHBRO03B transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 03BOHBRO03B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO03C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3, 1987 June 29

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the “God is Dead” controversy at Emory University, the Methodist involvement in helping Jimmy Carter be elected president, Methodist missionaries, and Brooks' involvement with United Nations.
OHBRO03C transcript 35.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 03COHBRO03C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO04A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 July 15

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include fishing in Alaska, Eskimos, research developments in hunger in Africa, economics and hunger, agriculture, politics and world hunger, America’s slipping economic position, past secretaries of agriculture, and Brooks' relationship with Japanese employees of Gold Kist.
OHBRO04A transcript 35.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 04AOHBRO04A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO04B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 July 15

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include training employees at Gold Kist and leadership at Gold Kist.
OHBRO04B transcript 8.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 04BOHBRO04B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO05A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 July 28

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ influences on how he runs Gold Kist, the human element of business, civil rights and the co-ops, and integration in the church and Gold Kist.
OHBRO05A transcript 35.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 05AOHBRO05A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO05B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 July 28

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the integration of Gold Kist, world hunger, Jimmy Carter’s run for presidency, the successes and failures of President Carter, and Ronald Reagan’s inner circle.
OHBRO05B transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 05BOHBRO05B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO05C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3, 1987 July 28

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Harry Chapin and the World Hunger Commission/Committee, Brooks’ involvement in the Federal Trade Board, and U.S. markets.
OHBRO05C transcript 17.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 05COHBRO05C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO06A, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 1, 1987 August 18

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks' Alaska trip and Eskimo culture, Gold Kist’s expansion in the world market, cultural sensitivity, and exporting and foreign trade.
OHBRO06A transcript 35.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 06AOHBRO06A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO06B, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 2, 1987 August 18

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek, poultry, Gold Kist’s future endeavors.
OHBRO06B transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 06BOHBRO06B, original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO06C, Interview with D.W. Brooks Part 3, 1987 August 18

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the National Council of Farmer Co-ops, Senator Richard B. Russell, and labor unions in the South.
OHBRO06C transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 06COHBRO06C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO07, Interview with Dean Rusk, 1987 September 23

Brian S. Wills interviews Dean Rusk. Rusk discusses his first contact with D.W. Brooks, Gold Kist and foreign governments, Rusk's personal relationship with D.W. Brooks.
OHBRO07 transcript 8.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 07OHBRO07 original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO08, Interview with Jimmy Carter, 1987 November 10

Brian S. Wills interviews Jimmy Carter. Carter discusses his first acquaintance with D.W. Brooks, Brooks as special consultant in agriculture, the Presidential Commission on World Hunger, diplomatic relations with China, and the Iranian situation and the embargo on Russia.
OHBRO08 transcript 12.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 08OHBRO08 original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO09, Interview with James T. Laney, 1987 September 23

Brian S. Wills interviews James T. Laney. Laney discusses meeting D.W. Brooks at Emory University in Atlanta and the qualities of Brooks.
OHBRO09 transcript 14.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 09OHBRO09 original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO10, Interview with Fred C. Davison, 1987 September 24

Brian S. Wills interviews Fred C. Davison. Davison discusses the world impact of D.W. Brooks and his personal relationship with Brooks.
OHBRO10 transcript 29.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 10OHBRO10 original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO11A, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 1, 1988 September 21

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OHBRO11A Transcript OHBRO11A, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 1, 1988 September 21
Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Charles Knapp’s relationship with President Jimmy Carter, the Iranian rescue mission and the C.I.A.’s past involvement in that country, Carter and the Methodist church, Brooks’ trip to Argentina in 1984 with Norman Borlaug, foreign investments, and Gold Kist’s success abroad.
OHBRO11A transcript VIEW ONLINE
 

OHBRO11B, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 2, 1988 September 21

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the Department of Agriculture and its difficulties with the federal government, the composition of the Gold Kist business board, and the relation between protectionism and politics, and economics.
OHBRO11B transcript 39.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 11BOHBRO11B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO11C, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 3, 1988 September 21

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include technological advancement and high productivity, American education, America’s future economic direction, attention to detail, and economics in a competitive world.
OHBRO11C transcript 36.0 pages VIEW ONLINE
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CS 0108OH Brooks 11COHBRO11C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO12A, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 1, 1987 February 25

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ relationship with President Richard M. Nixon during his service as agricultural advisor, Brooks' opinion of Nixon, Truman and Brooks’ position on the Korean War Mobilization Board, Brooks' opinion of George McGovern as opponent of Nixon, Nixon as a student at Duke University, Nixon and Communism, Nixon and China, Brooks’ opinion of President Gerald Ford, Ford restoring confidence in the Presidency after Nixon, Brooks’ relationship with Ford’s economic advisors regarding the beef price, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the beef crisis.
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OHBRO12A TranscriptOHBRO12A transcript 15.0 pages
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CS 0108OH Brooks 12AOHBRO12A original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO12B, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 2, 1987 February 25

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topcis include the beef crisis and Gerald Ford, Brooks' relationship with Jimmy Carter (as apeanut farmer and as Governor of Georgia), the decision to build the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Carter’s decision to run for president and Brooks’ opinion on his chances, Carter bringing the general conference of the Methodist Church to Atlanta, the beginning of Carter’s recognition around the country, Brooks’ assistance with Carter’s presidential campaign, Carter in his first two years as president, OPEC, the Panama Canal, Carter’s choice to enforce an embargo on Russia, and Brooks’ opinion on this decision.
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OHBRO12B TranscriptOHBRO12B transcript 11.0 pages
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CS 0108OH Brooks 12BOHBRO12B original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO12C, Interview with D.W. Brooks, Part 3, 1987 February 25

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Carter and the Iran hostage crisis and rescue mission, Brooks' opinion of Carter; Carter, the press, and Burt Lance; Brooks' opinion of Burt Lance, the beginning of the Jimmy Carter Center and Museum, Carter’s post-presidency activities as peacemaker, Brooks’ choice not to be part of Reagan’s inner circle, participation on and retirement from the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under Reagan, and Brooks' relationship with the Reagan administration.
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OHBRO12C TranscriptOHBRO12C transcript 7.0 pages
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CS 0108OH Brooks 12COHBRO12C original media 1.0 audiocassette
 

OHBRO13, Interview with D.W. Brooks, undated

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks.
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CS 0108OH Brooks 13OHBRO13 original media 1.0 audiocassette