I Never Had It Made – by Jackie Robinson


I Never Had It Made by Jackie Robinson

Paperback: 320 Pages 

Publisher: HarperCollins 

ISBN – 13:9780060555979

Synopsis:  Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball’s stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson’s own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.
I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson’s early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school’s first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the “Noble Experiment”—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.

More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Madealso reveals the highs and lows of Robinson’s life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.

Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.

* * *

Jackie Robinson’s story is one of the most remarkable stories of perseverance and bravery in the game of Baseball and in American history. Robinson broke down racial barriers both on and off the baseball field. His autobiography covers his life from before he entered Major League Baseball world until his days in politics after his MLB career.

Robinson doesn’t sugar coat or hold back on any topics throughout his autobiography. He explains the events of his life as they happened, interjecting with explanations of what he was feeling at certain times. This gave the readers an intimate view into Robinson’s mind during a time that he was the target of hate speech and racial slurs in a very public way.

This book offers a unique look into Robinson’s life and would be a great read for any baseball fan. Fans of history and racial suppression will also enjoy this book as it offers an exclusive view into what Robinson’s life was as he tried – and succeeded – to break down racial barriers. This book is also a great companion to the recently made movie, 42, about Robinson’s life, however, the book offers more insight and detail into his life before before, during and after baseball.

Rating: 10/10

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