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Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography

The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero

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Westminster John Knox Press
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Jackie Robinson believed in a God who sides with the oppressed and who calls us to see one another as sisters and brothers. This faith was a powerful but quiet engine that drove and sustained him as he shattered racial barriers on and beyond the baseball diamond.

Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography explores the faith that, Robinson said, carried him through the torment and abuse he suffered for integrating the major leagues and drove him to get involved in the civil rights movement. Marked by sacrifice and service, inclusiveness and hope, Robinson's faith shaped not only his character but also baseball and America itself.

Perfect for book clubs! Download the Reading Group Guide.

2017 INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist

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Michael G. Long has written books for all ages on civil rights and peacemaking in mid-century America, including the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, Jackie Robinson, and Mister Rogers. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Chris Lamb is Professor of Journalism at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and is the author and editor of several books on sports, race, and the media, including Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training and Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball, which was called one of the best nonfiction baseball books of all time by The Huffington Post and was named the Best Book on Journalism and Mass Communication History by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2013 . His articles on sports have appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal,, and New

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"In this fast-paced read, Long and Lamb paint a portrait of groundbreaking baseball player Jackie Robinson that is both refreshing and exciting."
Publishers Weekly

"As much a look back at Robinson's skill on the field, this also focuses on his life off the field, long after his career in baseball was finished. Long and Lamb are well-qualified authors who have written before about Robinson, as well as civil rights and spirituality. This is a good pick for baseball fans; homeschooled students seeking well-researched, faith-based materials; and those interested in civil rights and the role of Christianity in sports."

"Mining a wide variety of sources, Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography provides a captivating portrayal of the way in which the Christian faith-rooted in Robinson's mother's Methodist tradition, nurtured by a young Methodist pastor named Karl Downs (who appears frequently in this book) and refined by his partnership with his wife Rachel-impacted his breaking of the color barrier. Later, the author's portray how Robinson's post-baseball civil rights work and engagement in business and politics was influenced by his beliefs. In addition to telling Robinson's own story through the lens of the Christian faith, the book is also an exceptional overview of issues of race and justice in America from the inception of the Civil Rights era through Robinson's death in 1972. Long and Lamb show a significant depth of understanding not only Robinson and his faith, but also broader concerns of race, class, privilege and American religious and political history."
Englewood Review of Books

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