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A Synopsis of
AMBITION
By Hugh Aaron


Jack White, a liberal Jewish executive, in line for the presidency of Bossman's closely held corporation, is grooming his black manager, Dan Black, to step into his vice president's position. However, the conservative Bossman objects to this on the grounds that it wouldn't be good for the business and fires Dan behind Jack's back. Jack threatens to quit over this, but Bossman, revealing that he has Parkinson's disease and needs him to take over, persuades Jack to stay on. Dan, outraged at being fired, blames Jack and refuses to believe Jack's denial that he was responsible.

Jack's marriage is unhappy, and he is carrying on an affair with Bossman's private secretary, Sally. When Bossman's wife, who admires Jack's wife, discovers this, she comes to distrust Jack and advises Bossman to sell the company, especially in view of his illness. A deal is made with George Buyer, head of a large corporation.

Buyer offers to keep Jack on as second in command of the acquired company. When Jack learns that his new boss will be none other than Dan Black, his former subordinate, he refuses, discovering his own prejudice. Sally holds up a mirror to Jack, showing him his hypocrisy, which leads to Jack's deeper understanding of himself and his willingness to work as Dan's subordinate after all. Dan is understanding and accepts Jack, but is realistic about the distance that remains between blacks and whites.


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