Cover image for Jackie Robinson : race, sports, and the American dream
Jackie Robinson : race, sports, and the American dream
Dorinson, Joseph, 1936-
Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxii, 264 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Selected papers from a conference held Apr. 3-5, 1997, on the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.R6 A34 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



With these words, President Clinton contributed to Long Island University's three-day celebration of that momentous event in American history when Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball. This new book includes presentations from that celebration, especially chosen for their fresh perspectives and illuminating insights.

A heady mix of journalism, scholarship, and memory offers a presentation that far transcends the retelling of just another sports story. Readers get a true sense of the social conditions prior to Robinson's arrival in the major leagues and the ripple effect his breakthrough had on the nation. Anecdotes enliven the story and offer more than the usual "larger than life" portrait of Robinson.

A melange of contributors from the sports world, academia, and journalism, some of Robinson's contemporaries, Dodger fans, and historians of the era, all sharing a passion for baseball, reflect on issues of sports, race, and the dramatic transformation of the American social and political scene in the last fifty years. In addition to the editors, the list of authors includes Peter Golenbock, one of America's preeminent sports biographers and author of Bums: The Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947-1957, Tom Hawkins, the first African-American to star in basketball at Notre Dame and currently Vice-President for Communications of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bill Mardo a former writer for the New York Daily Worker, Roger Rosenblatt, teacher at the Southampton Campus of Long Island University, and author of numerous articles, plays, and books, Peter Williams, author of a study of sports myth, The Sports Immortals, and Samuel Regalado, author of Viva Baseball!: LatinMajor Leaguers and Their Special Hunger.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

To commemorate Jackie Robinson's breaking baseball's color line in 1947, Long Island University sponsored a symposium in Robinson's honor. Among those who presented papers, now assembled in this fascinating collection, were Pete Golenbock, respected sports biographer; Carl Erskine, Robinson's teammate for most of the Brooklyn years; and Lee Lowenfish, author of the best labor history of baseball, The Imperfect Diamond (1991). The topics include a personal memoir of a young Jewish boy's excitement over Robinson's debut; a surprising study of baseball attendance during Robinson's early career; and an essay that contrasts Robinson's response to racism with those of fellow black baseball pioneers Monte Irvin and Roy Campanella. The last two years have seen an abundance of Robinson material published of varying merit. This collection rises near the top of the field based on its freshness (all original pieces), diverse topics, and unique voices. In addition, Erskine's heartfelt tribute to Robinson as a friend is guaranteed to cause an ache in even the hardest heart. --Wes Lukowsky

Choice Review

This book explores the significance of Jackie Robinson, whose achievement as the first black baseball player in the major leagues, the editors suggest, is "a major event in our nation's history." The book is not a biography. Rather, resting on the assumption that baseball is a broadly important enterprise, the volume consists of 24 presentations delivered at a conference held at Long Island University in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut. Because the contributors range from scholars and social commentators to sportswriters and former ballplayers, the tones and purposes of the pieces vary widely: some are exploratory, some analytic, some nostalgic. But a sense that Robinson made a difference for the nation is a theme that unifies them all. In general, the essays ask the reader to reflect on the condition of the US in the aftermath of WW II, to recall that baseball in that era was an aspect of national self-identification, to ponder the ways in which the US has in fact changed since 1947, and to honor the courage of the great man who stood in the center of the storm. For all libraries. R. Browning Kenyon College

Table of Contents

Jackie, Do They Know? An Ode to Jackie RobinsonTommy Hawkins
I Historical Perspectives
1 In the Eye of the Storm: 1947 in World PerspectiveJoram Warmund
2 Men of ConsciencePeter Golenbock
3 Moses Fleetwood Walker: Jackie Robinson's Accidental PredecessorSidney Gendin
4 Monte Irvin: Up From SharecroppingJack B. Moore
II Fans' Remembrances
5 It Happened in Brooklyn: Reminiscences of a FanRobert Gruber
6 The Interborough IliadPeter Williams
7 Father and Son at Ebbets FieldPeter Levine
8 A Ten Year Old Dodger Fan Welcomes Jackie Robinson to BrooklynIvan W. Hametz
9 Mah NishtanahHenry Foner
III The Radical Press/Agenda
10 Baseball on the Radical Agenda: The Daily Worker and Sunday Worker Journalistic Campaign to Desegregate Major League Baseball, 1933-1947Kelly E. Rusinack
11 White Dodgers, Black DodgersLester Rodney
12 Robinson-RobinsonBill Mardo
IV On the [Level?] Playing Field
13 Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson: Race, Identity, and Ethnic PowerJoseph Dorinson
14 Burt Shotton: The Crucible of 1947Robert A. Moss
15 Jackie Robinson on Opening Day (1947-1956)Lyle Spatz
V Measuring the Impact in Baseball
16 Jackie Robinson and the Third Age of BaseballDavid Shiner
17 Jackie Robinson and the Emancipation of Latin American Baseball PlayersSamuel O.Regalado
18 The Two Titans and the Mystery Man: Branch Rickey, Walter O'Malley and John L. Smith as Brooklyn Dodgers Partners, 1944-1950Lee Lowenfish
VI Measuring the Impact In Society
19 Robinson in 1947: Measuring an Uncertain ImpactHenry D. Fetter
20 Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night: Race, the Baseball Establilshement, and the Retirements ofBob Feller and Jackie Robinson and Ron Briley
21 Kareem's Omission?Jackie Robinson, Black Profile in Courage and Patrick Henry
22 Should We Rely on the Marketplace to End Discrimination? What the Integration of Baseball Tells UsTobert Cherry
VII Thank YouJackie Robinson
23 GreetingsCarl Erskine
24 Keynote AddressRoger Rosenblatt