Great Time Coming: The Life of Jackie Robinson, from Baseball to Birmingham

David Falkner, Author Simon & Schuster $24.5 (382p) ISBN 978-0-671-79336-4
Far more than a sports book, this is an in-depth portrait of an individual of admirable simplicity and forthrightness, as well as a great athlete. Born in Georgia but raised in Southern California, Robinson was a gifted athlete in many sports in high school and junior college and while at UCLA. It was his intensity and fury, born partly from discrimination, that made him a fighter. Those same qualities got him in trouble as a lieutenant in the segregated U.S. Army during WWII, but brought him success at last when he broke the color line in major league baseball. His spectacular career on the diamond is well known, but Falkner (The Last Yankee) goes beyond his subject's sporting career to detail what happened to Robinson from the time he left the Dodgers in 1957 until his death in 1972. He relates how Robinson devoted himself to the goal of integration with equal rights for all, while around him swirled struggles by the NAACP, the Black Panthers and the Republican and Democratic parties to ally themselves with Robinson, the legend and the symbol, and while diabetes wracked his body. A comprehensive account. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-684-82348-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4703-1586-3
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