- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Plume (February 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452275822
- ISBN-13: 978-0452275829
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,493,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Jackie Robinson Reader: Perspectives on an American Hero Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1998
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Tygiel did create an alternative biography of Robinson that is more useful as an accompaniment to the already existing literature on his career. `On Being Black Among the Republicans' is an extract from Robinson's autobiography, I Never Had I Made. `Il a gagne ses epaulettes' is an extract from two chapters of Tygiel's narrative in Baseball's Great Experiment. We would say, `He earned his stripes.' If you want to read about Jackie Robinson, why not read those two books first?
The contributions listed on the cover were extracts from other books or articles, not original writings created for this venture. The passage from Red Barber is from his book Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat. Barber also told the same story in his book 1947: When All Hell Broke Loose In Baseball. The passage from Malcolm X is an exchange of letters that were also printed in Robinson's autobiography by Al Duckett. The Lion at Dusk is an excerpt from Roger Kahn's famous baseball book, The Boys of Summer. Most of the ground covered in this book paraphrased, reprinted, or referenced by other books that I had already read about Robinson.
Rampersad's biography of Robinson referred to the two articles from Look that appeared in this collection. It was nice to see the actual articles `Now I Know Why They Boo Me!' and `Why I'm Quitting Baseball.' In the first article, Robinson describes the Buddy Incident with Reese as something that happened in 1948, when he was moved to second base. The second article is more famous for events that surrounded the publication of the article.
My favorite selection from the book was the article by Ron Smith about the Robeson - Robinson controversy after the 1949 season. A special committee in the House of Representatives to investigate Un-American activities called Robinson to testify. Paul Robeson made a statement that blacks should not fight Russia if a war broke out because blacks were treated better in Russia than they were here. While Robinson did not agree with the statement, he was upset at the way his testimony was twisted to denigrate Robeson.
The 8-page photo collection at the center of the book includes a photo taken of Robinson running the bases in a uniform of the Kansas City Royals, a barnstorming club that was taken three weeks before Montreal announced that they had signed Robinson. The photograph was to accompany an article written by Arthur Mann that was included in this collection. The photographs and the article provide a new twist on the story of the integration of baseball. Branch Rickey had actually planned to sign several Negro League players, including Robinson, for his experiment until he was talked into going the road that he actually traveled.
The book was released in 1997 to capture sales generated from the excitement of MLB honoring the 50th Anniversary of Robinson's debut. I bought the book as a bargain book maybe a year later, when the moment had passed. The book was enjoyable as a supplement to other books on Robinson's life. Please visit my Jackie Robinson List Page on Amazon for links to the other books on Robinson's career and a few details on the career of this remarkable pioneer in baseball.