I Never Had It Made

( 36 )

Overview

The Autobiography of a Boy of Summer Who Became a Man for All Seasons

Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black ...

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I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson

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Overview

The Autobiography of a Boy of Summer Who Became a Man for All Seasons

Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.

I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.

More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.

Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This autobiography, which was originally published in 1972, the year Robinson died, is not about baseball: it's about the deep commitment that Robinson made to achieve justice for himself and all Americans. He recalls his years at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete and met his future wife, Rachel. With the advent of WWII he was drafted into the army, became a lieutenant and was court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a bus. He was honorably discharged. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues until he was recruited by Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1947 Robinson broke the color line in the major leagues and suffered terrible abuse for doing so. He discusses his relationships with the sports figures he admired, like Rickey and teammate Pee Wee Reese, and also recalls his run-ins with those he did not like, such as Dodger owner Walter O'Malley, who was ``viciously antagonistic,'' and sportswriter Dick Young, a ``racial bigot.'' Much of the book, written with freelancer Duckett, focuses on Robinson's political involvements after his career ended in 1956 and his friendships with such diverse characters as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, William Buckley and Nelson Rockefeller. The most wrenching episodes in the book deal with Jackie Jr., who overcame his heroin addiction only to be killed in an automobile accident at age 24 in 1971. A disturbing and enlightening self-portrait by one of America's genuine heroes. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This book essentially enlarges upon matters Duckett had covered with Robinson in an earlier work, Breakthrough to the Big League (1965). Included are introductions by Hank Aaron and Cornel West that provide fresh perspectives on the significance of the legendary star's breaking of major league baseball's color barrier. With each retelling, it is clear that Robinson's story has become less a baseball story than a major cultural milestone in the nation's history. As George Will is quoted as saying, it was "one of the great achievements not only in the annals of sport, but of the human drama anywhere, anytime." Appropriate for both adult and young adult collections.-William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060555979
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/6/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 73,662
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie Robinson shared the turbulent and triumphant story of his life with freelance writer Alfred Duckett, who contributed to the powerful speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Co-author of I Never Had it Made, Alfred Duckett assisted Jackie Robinson in writing a newspaper column, and had an important role working on the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Introduction xv
Preface: Today xxi
The Noble Experiment
I A Dream Deferred 3
II The Noble Experiment 26
III Breaking the Color Barrier 37
IV The Major Leagues 53
V "Just Another Guy" 71
VI My Own Man 78
VII The Price of Popularity 87
VIII The Growing Family 104
IX The Ninth Inning 116
After the Ball Game
X New Horizons 125
XI Campaigning for Nixon 135
XII The Hall of Fame Award 141
XIII Conflict at the Apollo 145
XIV Crises at Home 151
XV On Being Black Among the Republicans 162
XVI Differences with Malcolm X 176
XVII The Freedom Bank 183
XVIII Hope and Disillusionment in White Politics 198
XIX The Influence of Martin Luther King, Jr. 210
XX Jackie's Prison 217
XXI Politics Today 236
XXII "... And He Was Free" 244
XXIII Aftermath 259
XXIV Epilogue 268
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Carl O. R.A.Long High School

    The autobiography of America's most celebrated baseball hero-Jackie Robinson, was first African American man with enough talent to breack through into the 'white man's' world of porfessional sports. It¿s the story of a man of courage and conviction, from his early days working in Los Angles for the NAACP, supporting Richard Nixon, and battled diabetes. The book tells a life of both tragic and triumphant. He was the grandson of a slave. He was saved from becoming a juvenile delinquent by the affection and guidance of his mother, a sympathetic friend, and a young minister. His talent for all sports made him the first four-letter man in the history of UCLA. While there, he met Rachel Isum, who became, and remains today, the most important person in his life, his wife. A good book!!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Great story about race relations in Baseball and the US during t

    Great story about race relations in Baseball and the US during the era. I read this on vacation during the 50th march on Washington celebrations and it was very relevant to today. my only disappointment is that not enough is known about Jackie in his after life of Baseball

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2007

    Jackie Robinson

    Jackie Robinson I found this book on Jackie Robinson very interesting. It was crull the way they treated black people back in the 1940¿s. In the 1940¿s discrimination was still among the country. Jackie Robinson wanted to play regular baseball. Instead the manager of the league sent to play in the Negro League. Only cause they didn¿t allow black people in their league. He wanted to play one game in the MLB (major league baseball) and when he got up to bat the fans in the stands threw soda cans, food, and they all started yelling at the manager for letting him play. His first at bat the pitcher threw a pitch right at his head because they thought he was different from everybody else. Later on after the game Jackie was beat up in the parking lot of the field. Then after four years in the MLB they finally accepted him for who he was! I thought that this book was a good choice for anyone who was wondering what life was like back then.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2006

    A MAN THAT FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM...

    I DON'T LIKE TO READ MANY AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, BUT THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT JUST BECAUSE JACKIE ROBINSON IS TELLING HIS STORY. HE WENT THROUGH SO MUCH FROM BEING THE FIRST PLAYER TO INTEGRATE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. TO FIGHTING FOR PEOPLES RIGHTS AT A TIME THAT AFRICICAN AMERICANS COULD NOT SPEAK OUT WITHOUT BEING DISCRIMINATED. THIS BOOK THAT JACKIE TOLD WAS PHENOMINAL, AND JACKIE SAID IT BEST, ' I WAS A BLACK MAN IN A WHITE WORLD' I NEVER HAD IT MADE.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Excellent

    You dont have to be a fan of sports to enjoy this book. The historical significance alone is incredible. Great read. You will not be disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    JACKIE ROBINSON ROCK

    I went to see the movie and it was good. But the n word is used so much and i feel bad for him. But every year the MLB has a Jackie Robinson day and every playerbin the MLB wears the # 42 because Jackie made it possable for colored people to play non-colored sports.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Wow

    If its about jackie robinson it must be great "42" the movie! rocked!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Loved the book.  Well worth the read.  

    Loved the book.  Well worth the read.  

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Great story

    Great story, very inspiring

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  • Posted June 20, 2014

    EVERY YOUNG BOY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    I GREW UP IN AN AREA OF CALIFORNIA WHERE I WAS NOT EXPOSED TO DISCRIMINATION, BUT JACKIE DIDNT HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE AS AN AMERICAN.
    SHAME ON ALL OF US.
    THIS WAS A VERY GOOD LOOK AT THE UNITED STATES AT IT WORST AND BEST.
    BROVO TO THE WRITER FOR CAPTURING OUR AMERICAN

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Jackie robinson

    Jackie robinson wuz 1 ov the GR8EST baseball playerz in baseball history!! I WISH I had a chance 2 meet him & in my opinion, he helped brake down barrier 4 african americans in order 2 have the chance 2 play baseball that we thought WUZ "MEANT 4 WHITE PEOPLE" BUT THAT AIN'T TRUE!! IM GLAD THAT THAY BROKE IT!! Tanner Tan-Man LeSueur

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Great book

    Great book to read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    Respond

    Seen the movie and loved the book . Sometimes i wish life was easy i mean im not the prettyest and i now for a fact the quarterback isnt wrapped around my fingers but danm its hard to be me. I just need someone to talk to any one wanna talk

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Bo

    Bo

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Excellent!

    An insightful look into the hardships and triumphs this great man and athlete endured!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Best

    Whoooooooooooooo hooooooooo

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Amazing!!!!!!

    This gives you wonderful insight on Jackie Robinson's life before and after baseball that 42 did not show. The movie was awesome, and after reading this, I felt it really tied up the loose ends. Truely amazing! Rest in peace Jackie Robinson and Jak Robinson Jr. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Faantastic!

    A GREAT read for people that are interested in the life of Jackie Robinson!

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  • Posted January 20, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    I haven't finished reading Jackie's story but oh I am so glad I started it. I hope he realizes in Heaven the legacy he left behind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Jackies Robinson Fan

    I thought that the book is a good book. You should read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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