Form and Content
Ravaged by the complications of diabetes, Jackie Robinson, the man who desegregated major league baseball in 1947, died within two weeks of his appearance at the 1972 World Series. Not quite fifteen years later, a young African-American outfielder, Vince Coleman, said, “I don’t know nothing about no Jackie Robinson.” From this point on, Maury Allen’s Jackie Robinson: A Life Remembered follows a chronological format as he informs Coleman and the many others about what made Robinson an admirable human being and a Hall-of-Fame ballplayer.
Allen’s work, however, is biography with a difference. The author, who grew up in New York City and was a baseball fan before he became a sportswriter and an author of many books on sports personalities, uses illustrations and narrative to weave together excerpts from dozens of interviews. Together, these interviews cover every important phase of Robinson’s life: his youth in Pasadena, California; his early recognition as an all-round athlete at Pasadena Junior College and the University of California at Los Angeles; his Army service during World War II; his few months with the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro Leagues; his year of minor league baseball in Montreal; his decade with the Brooklyn Dodgers; and his involvement in business, politics, and civil rights from the time of his retirement in 1956 to his death in 1972.
Robinson faced pressures that no other rookie ballplayer has...
(The entire section is 464 words.)