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.