Alan Lelchuk; BREAKING GROUND; Mandel Vilar Press (Nonfiction: History) 15.95 ISBN: 9781942134077
Byline: Melissa Wuske
This emotionally moving tribute gives insight into how Jackie Robinson affected the racial climate of Brooklyn and the nation.
Breaking Ground: How Jackie Robinson Changed Brooklyn, by Alan Lelchuk, uses both memoirist and historian eyes to examine a baseball great.
Lelchuk grew up in Brooklyn, the son of immigrants in the post-WWII era, and had a firsthand view of Jackie Robinson's rise as a baseball player, a public icon, and a voice for equality. As a child, Lelchuck was starstruck by Robinson, but the book extols rather than deifies. It shows Robinson as a folk legend, as seen through the eyes of a young boy, but also as a man whose legacy is backed up by historical data. Lelchuk sets the bar high for Robinson's impact -- "Robinson did something for and through baseball that no other great player had ever done" -- but he calmly proves every bold statement through his narrative research. The book is broken into two parts: "The Brooklyn Project," covering Robinson's years as a player, and "Jackie's Voice," showing his lasting legacy. While Lelchuk is not necessarily attempting to drum up enthusiasm for Robinson as a person and a player, he does just that through his childlike...