Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

I enjoyed reading Jackie Robinson:  A Spiritual Biography.  Jackie lived during a time of severe prejudice regarding African Americans in professional sports.  I would have thought that Jackie Robinson did not have a strong spiritual background.  I could not be more wrong.  It was perhaps this devotion that allowed him to become an icon in the sport of baseball while simultaneously dealing with prejudice and hostility in the world.  I enjoyed this novel.  I did not know that much about Jackie and I am now going to continue my research on this baseball icon.
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Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero by Michael Long & Chris Lamb ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
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Thank you @netgalley for providing this e-book in exchange for my honest review!
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I married into a baseball-loving Baptist family, so this book title piqued my interest on a few different levels. Jackie Robinson is best known as the first African-American Major League Baseball player. But I had no idea he was also a man whose deep faith in God drove him to use his baseball career as a platform for advancing racial justice and reconciliation in America.
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Through interviews, letters, and first hand sources, the authors tell Jackie's story of coming out of a single-parent home through college and on to playing in the Negro Leagues before being scouted out by Branch Rickey to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. After his career in baseball, Jackie was a vocal public figure of the civil rights movement, corresponding with presidents, governors, and other leaders in the movement including Martin Luther King Jr. Behind it all was Jackie's steadfast faith in a God who had created all men equal and had created Jackie himself as a black man for his glory and purposes.
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I had no idea Jackie Robinson had been such a prominent civil rights figure or that his faith had played such a big role in his life. This book gave me a mini-crash course in the civil rights movement through his eyes, and his story is very relevant and inspiring in light of today's continued racial divide. If you are a Christian, or baseball lover, or an advocate for racial justice (or all of the above!), you will find a captivating story in Jackie Robinson's life.
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Good summary of Jackie Robinson's spiritual life and how it supported his civil rights journey.
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I am not sure that I would call this a biography.  I would call it a history book whose central figure would be Jackie Robinson.  He had a tremendous impact on history and the period of time he was alive was certainly one that needs to be reviewed, especially in what this book talks about, civil rights. It is a history of the civil rights movement.  Many times we branch off on the people and events that are part of his life, but we always come back to it.  

This period of time is important to me. Jackie broke the racial barrier in the late 40's and I was born n the early 50's.  While I grew up in this time frame, until we get to the 70's much  of it was new history to me.  And a lot of it rung true to me. I can remember my father telling me that the negro needed to have his rights.  I also remember, when a negro family moved in to the area and I went to play with them, I came home with a beating from my dad that I was never to go to that area again.  So I can say that much of the problems between the races that is talked about was quite evident in the years I grew up. 

The book is not political.  It is a history of what happened. And it all revolves around Jackie Robinson.  I would gladly recommend this book to anyone.  It is not a book that preaches at you, but faith was a part of his life.
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When Jackie Robinson stepped into the office of Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey, he thought he was being scouted for a Negro baseball team. He had no idea that Rickey had been watching him for months and that Rickey had chosen Robinson to help him fulfill a promise he had made to himself decades earlier. That promise was to break the barriers of humiliation he witnessed by black players of a private college school he once coached. Jackie Robinson claimed he was not an overly religious man, yet he understood the power of God at work in his life, especially through the two most influential people in his life, his mother and Branch Rickey. Every baseball fan and Jackie Robinson fan will be captivated by this story and  how important Robinson’s faith was in breaking racial barriers in the world of sports. While I do think older children and teens should read this, racial slurs are used, keeping it true to what Robinson faced. This is a very important story told in a very captivating way.
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I gave the book four stars because I felt the middle and end of the book strayed away from the stated purpose of the book to be a spiritual biography. I enjoyed reading the book and believe the authors did a good job of connecting Jackie' Robinson's faith and his life. The only negative I had was the overuse of other material from previous biographies. I realize that it is hard to do something original with such a well documented person's life and for someone is no longer alive to give personal insights. For those who love Jackie Robinson, this book will be another layer to devour. For those who don't know as much about the great athlete, this book will provide a rare glimpse into the inner life of one of the most examined men of the 20th century. It is well worth the time to read how the faith of Jackie Robinson influenced every area of his life and career.
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Jackie Robinson A Spiritual Biography by Michael G. Long and Chris Lamb is a wonderful journey through the faith life of Jackie Robinson. Jackie is best known for breaking the color barrier in professional baseball and many, like me, know little about him beyond his time in sports. This story starts with his life as a child on a plantation in Georgia and through his mother’s strong faith and hard work the family ends up living in Pasadena California. Jackie goes on to attend college and plays multiple sports while there. Of course, he eventually ends up playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first negro to play for a major-league team. This is just the beginning of his story. After baseball Jackie continues to live his faith through various positions and service projects for his community and the country. This book is the story of his deep faith in the God who cares for everyone, including all colors and religions, and calls us to unite as one family. 
I rate this book 5 of 5 stars. I am so glad I read this book. It helped me to better understand the history of the time and relate it to what is happening in our country today. Some of the quotes from the 1960’s ring true today with the turmoil in our country. It also made me take a look at my own faith and examine my life in terms of what I am giving back to God. I believe this book is well researched as the historical details I know are accurate. The characters are all real people so some are likeable and some not so much as we all can find in our personal lives. 
I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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