Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: Beyond Home Plate

Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After BaseballBeyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After Baseball by Michael G. Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jackie Robinson has always been an enlightening public figure. The younger generation that I belong to often sees him as the man who broke barriers and succeeded in being the first African-American to play in the major leagues. But as this book reveals, Mr. Robinson was more than just a trendsetter-He was a great mind. This book begins by talking about how the Republican Party has willfully claimed Jackie Robinson as one of their own, but this book shines light that Mr. Robinson was a very complex man with ever-changing views. This book, which encapsulates Robinson's political outlook and civil rights activism (with a sprinkle of his feelings on sports) creates a much broader picture of Robinson than I ever imagined. Upon the first few pages, which are dominated by sports, I was really thinking that this was a book for true fans and completists only. But the further I read, the more I respected the overall arc of this book which concludes with Robinson's overall disgust with the direction of the GOP. In that way, I feel this book is both timely and relevant given the current political arena we are unfortunately in. This book would get a slightly higher score if there wasn't any of that baseball or sports stuff in here. We've gotten enough written about that topic already. We didn't need more. But the rest of the book is solid and a thoroughly engaging read. Give it a look.

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