I Never Had It Made

I Never Had It Made

4.6 41
by Jackie Robinson, Ossie Davis, Alfred Duckett
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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 Dogers 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. 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.

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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:
9781561004287
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
06/01/1995
Edition description:
Abridged

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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I Never Had It Made 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This book makes me so very proud of the struggles, successes, and survival of Mr. Robinson and other black athletes of the time. I learned so much about his life, his family, and faith. He truly believed in the empowerment of black folks. I'm especially proud to see love, respect, and acknowledgement of his wife Rachel. What a beautiful blessing to have a strong mate in life's journey. Great read for any who want to be inspired!
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Great Book!
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CSSJR More than 1 year ago
I found out that there was more to Jackie Robinson then just basball
mtvernon More than 1 year ago
I had read about Jackie Robinson since I was a teenager. This is unique because it is from his own mouth. Further, it shed light on the civil rights movement and the politicians of the times. So there was a lot of fairly recent history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, very inspiring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An insightful look into the hardships and triumphs this great man and athlete endured!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A GREAT read for people that are interested in the life of Jackie Robinson!
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I thought that the book is a good book. You should read it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.