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Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy [Paperback]

Jules Tygiel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 15 2008
In this gripping account of one of the most important steps in the history of American desegregation, Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson's crossing of baseball's color line. Examining the social and historical context of Robinson's introduction into white organized baseball, both on and off the field, Tygiel also tells the often neglected stories of other African-American players--such as Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron--who helped transform our national pastime into an integrated game. Drawing on dozens of interviews with players and front office executives, contemporary newspaper accounts, and personal papers, Tygiel provides the most telling and insightful account of Jackie Robinson's influence on American baseball and society. The anniversary issue features a new foreword by the author. 4

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Review

"Rich, intelligent cultural history.... The effect of Mr. Tygiel's lively narrative is to make us realize, or remind us in case we've forgotten, what a remarkable impact Rickey's experiment had on baseball." --The New York Times

"Not only is this a book that is long overdue, but it turns out to be a book that is well worth the wait; it is comprehensive, perceptive, balanced--and into the bargain it is eminently readable." --Washington Post Book World

"Gives us the first in-depth, fully rounded picture of the successful integration of major league baseball." --The New Republic

"A thumpingly good baseball book." --Chicago Sun-Times

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22 halftones --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds Expectations Dec 12 2001
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book to learn more about Jackie Robinson and his relationship with Branch Rickey. Jules Tygiel gave me that (in an unbiased, thorough manner with great historical perspective) and then some! I gained an increased appreciation for the role of the Negro Leagues in the development of Major League baseball. I gained insight into the changing perceptions of baseball management, players and fans toward African-Americans and their contributions to the game. I was momentarily transported to that time, not as long ago as I would have thought, where non-white players were treated as second-class citizens. It was really an eye-opener. In addition, Mr. Tygiel's style was so honest and even-handed that I can't wait to read his book, "Past Time: Baseball As History," which I ordered today!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive book on Robinson and civil rights Nov. 15 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Professor Tygiel's book is the definitive work on the importance of Jackie Robinson to American history. Tygiel writes a well-researched, dynamic narrative that illustrates Robinson's incredible achievements and strength of character. This book, unlike others on Robinson, focuses on the years before and after 1947 as well. By doing this, Tygiel reveals the impact of Robinson's achievement in the context of the emerging civil rights movement. Jackie Robinson's story was not his alone- it was the story of the ballplayers who came after him. The book also shows how Robinson's courageous seasons personified the changing American conscience regarding race in the post-war era.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds Expectations Dec 11 2001
By Susan Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book to learn more about Jackie Robinson and his relationship with Branch Rickey. Jules Tygiel gave me that (in an unbiased, thorough manner with great historical perspective) and then some! I gained an increased appreciation for the role of the Negro Leagues in the development of Major League baseball. I gained insight into the changing perceptions of baseball management, players and fans toward African-Americans and their contributions to the game. I was momentarily transported to that time, not as long ago as I would have thought, where non-white players were treated as second-class citizens. It was really an eye-opener. In addition, Mr. Tygiel's style was so honest and even-handed that I can't wait to read his book, "Past Time: Baseball As History," which I ordered today!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Sept. 1 2001
By K.A.Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This scholarly yet readable look at baseball integration from 1947-1959 goes well beyond the inspiring story of Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. Author Jules Tygiel also informs about such secondary figures as Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Hank Aaron, Pumpsie Green, etc. Tygiel shows that integration proceeded slowly and in the face of strong resistance - the Boston Red Sox didn't add a black player until 1959, three years after Jackie Robinson retired. We also see how baseball integration spurred civil rights, while hastening the end of the Negro Leagues. I'd have liked more coverage of baseball's declining attendance after 1949 (probably caused by television), and the suspected correlation between athletic dominance and underclass poverty. Still, BASEBALL'S GREAT EXPERIMENT is a well-researched look at an interesting period in sports history.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Oct. 15 2009
By Howard Roitman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the seminal work on this subject and is important for an understanding of race relations in this country, as well as the transformation of baseball into the game as we know it today.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that increased my understanding July 26 2000
By Paula Waggoner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have a better understanding of integregation and how it affected every American no matter what his race or beliefs. Baseball was a pioneering vechicle for social questioning and challenged many men other than Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson into greatness. They were courageous men who had to fight convention and who lead other Americans to follow their example. I realize the impact integration had on everyone involved Black or White: the team owners, the players, broadcasters, vendors, and families. Many individuals sacrificed to improve their freedom and the freedom given to other humans. Mr. Rickey and Mr. Robinson are not portrayed as mythological figures but rather as real men I can respect more because they are like all of us. I am convinced that Mr. Robinson endured because he had strong character and determination and he believed in "the experiment." I feel I know him better now that I know more about his struggles and triumphs. I kept reading because everything was explained simply and with logic and with an absence of bias.
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