By Arnold Rampersad
The intense lifetime of Jackie Robinson is illuminated as by no means earlier than during this full-scale biography by way of Arnold Rampersad, who was once selected by way of Jack's widow, Rachel, to inform her husband's tale, and used to be given extraordinary entry to his deepest papers. we're introduced nearer than we've ever been to the good ballplayer, a guy of braveness and caliber who turned a pivotal determine within the parts of race and civil rights.Born within the rural South, the son of a sharecropper, Robinson used to be reared in southern California. We see him blossom there as a student-athlete as he struggled opposed to poverty and racism to uphold the ideals instilled in him by means of his mother--faith in relatives, schooling, the USA, and God. We stick with Robinson via global battle II, while, within the first wave of racial integration within the defense force, he was once commissioned as an officer, then court-martialed after refusing to maneuver to the again of a bus. After he performs within the Negro nationwide League, we watch the outlet of an all-American drama as, past due in 1945, department Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers well-known Jack because the correct participant to wreck baseball's colour barrier--and the sport used to be perpetually changed.Jack's never-before-published letters open up his dating together with his relatives, in particular his spouse, Rachel, whom he married simply as his perilous enterprise of integrating baseball begun. Her thoughts are an enormous source of the narrative as we find out about the critical harassment Robinson continued from teammates and competitors alike; approximately loss of life threats and exclusion; approximately pleasure and noteworthy good fortune. We watch his brave reaction to abuse, first as a stoic endurer, then as a fighter who epitomized braveness and defiance.We see his becoming friendship with white gamers like Pee Wee Reese and the black teammates who in his footsteps, and his include through Brooklyn's fanatics. We keep on with his blazing profession: 1947, Rookie of the 12 months; 1949, most useful participant; six pennants in ten seasons, and 1962, induction into the corridor of popularity. yet activities have been basically one point of his existence. We see his enterprise ventures, his prime position in the neighborhood, his early help of Martin Luther King Jr., his dedication to the civil rights move at a very important degree in its evolution; his arguable institutions with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Humphrey, Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, and Malcolm X.Rampersad's significant biography leaves us with an indelible photo of a principled guy who used to be passionate in his loyalties and reviews: a baseball participant who may well concentration a crowd's realization as nobody earlier than or on the grounds that; an activist on the crossroads of his people's fight; a devoted kinfolk guy whose final years have been stricken by sickness and tragedy, and who died in advance at fifty-two. He used to be a pathfinder, an American hero, and he now has the biography he deserves.From the Hardcover version.
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Extra info for Jackie Robinson: A Biography
Mallie had wanted a girl; now she had four sons, but only one daughter. She also knew that Jack’s birth would not help her marriage, which was doomed. She and Jerry had been separated at least three times. Every patching-up had meant only false hopes and another child. Marrying for love, Mallie McGriff perhaps took a step down. Jerry’s father, Tony Robinson, had crossed over the state line from Florida to rent and farm land on the Sasser plantation. Jerry, most likely the eldest of eleven children, had labored all his life for the Sassers; tied to the soil, he could neither read nor write.
The McGriffs had brought up their children to fear God but also to plan for the future, and Mallie had learned those lessons well. For her, hope was essential. Everywhere around her, she could see history weighing heavily on the lives of blacks and whites alike. Slavery had defined, and continued to shape, the culture of the region. Before the Civil War, the fertile “Black Belt” across the middle of Georgia comprised the densest population of blacks anywhere in the United States. ” The region where the McGriffs and their relatives lived was well to the south, but was usually seen as part of the Black Belt because it, too, was fertile and home to many blacks.
When it was his turn to speak, he did not hide his joy. “I feel inadequate,” he confessed. ” Quickly, Robinson turned to include others in his moment of triumph. “I could not be here without the advice and guidance of three of the most wonderful people I know,” he declared. ” In 1945, as general manager of the Dodgers, Rickey had made up his mind to attack Jim Crow in baseball, and with many men to choose from in the Negro baseball leagues had summoned a rookie shortstop on the Kansas City Monarchs to walk point.