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Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In Rickey & Robinson, legendary sportswriter Roger Kahn reveals the true, unsanitized account of the integration of baseball-a story that for decades has relied largely on inaccurate, secondhand reports. Focusing on Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, Kahn's account is based on exclusive reporting and his personal reminiscences, including revelatory material he buried in hi ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Rodale Books (first published September 16th 2014)
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Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Roger Kahn, now 87, has fished these waters before and better. This is not to say that Rickey and Robinson isn’t an entertaining read even if the use of “untold” in the subtitle is stretching a practice swing into a walk-off home run. There is very little here that Kahn himself hasn’t told already and even if you didn’t read The Boys of Summer or The Era, Mr. Kahn’s two better books on baseball and the Dodgers when they inhabited the Borough of Brooklyn in the County of Kings in the City of New ...more
Harold Kasselman
If this were a stand alone book, I would have rated it much higher. The fact is, however, there is very little new in this book that Mr. Kahn hasn't previously provided in "The Boys of Summer" or "The Era-1947-1957".(Or for that matter in Charles Einstein's wonderful work "Willie"s Times.)
It is a very interesting story and Kahn makes himself a primary character in this historical perspective of baseball's most revolutionary era. The problem is it has been told before and frankly it is told sev
Matt Moran
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, kahn
Time for Roger Kahn to shut down the old typewriter.

The problem is not that the book isn't interesting - it is, despite consistent repetition and a good amount of rehashing old material. But the name-calling is excessive and just isn't a good look since most of the people that Kahn attacks are long gone.

Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a die-hard baseball fan. Roger Kahn is probably the best-known Baseball writer of the last half century. Yet, for some reason, this is the first book of his I ever read. I honestly don’t know why.

I was excited when beginning this book. My dad was a Dodger fan as a child. One of his first memories was of his father and older brother discussing Jackie’s arrival in the majors. My dad later became a Mets fan. I did too. I lost my dad several years back but still, his stories about Ebbets Field
Reid Mccormick
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Dodger history is full of some amazing characters. Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, and Roy Campanella are amazing examples. Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey are probably my top characters. Vin Scully is without a doubt the most revered man in Dodger history, if not baseball history. Unfortunately there are no definite works by Scully or about Scully, so until then, I continue my pursuit of Robinson and Rickey.

Much has been written about Robinson and Rickey throughout the decades. Together they ch
Tim Christian
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
In the beginning, I was intrigued by Mr. Kahn's straightforward writing style and 'insider' knowledge of the story of Rickey-Robinson. And, while there were some insights shared throughout the book, it suffered from two main weaknesses in my opinion:
1. Confusing chronology. Kahn repeats stories multiple times and tells them using slightly different details each time. He also doesn't follow the arc of the chronological timeline. While that can work in a narrator's favor, it must be handled deftly
Jason Tondre
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Famed sportswriter and Brooklyn Dodgers insider Roger Kahn details the events and personalities pivotal in Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball racial barrier. I learned about Branch Rickey’s background and desire to break the racial barrier. I learned about Robinson’s journey. I learned about the players, managers and executives on both sides of the debate. Each key angle of the retelling was gripping and the enlightening.

Roger Kahn’s perspective from this later stage in his life lends him th
John Kennedy
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kahn's whimsical style of writing captures the personalities of players and owners of the era, showing how baseball reflected the racism of society and vice versa. While economics played a secondary role in Rickey recruiting Robinson to break the color line, his hatred of racism served as his overriding motivation. the book illustrates how owners conspired for decades to keep blacks from playing America's pastime at the highest level. Rickey, a senior citizen at the time, faced universal opposit ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
The content of this book was incredible, but he told the story out of order and jumped around a lot, which made it really hard to follow. If it had been linear, I probably would give four or five stars.
Review forthcoming.
patrick Lorelli
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-history
This book about Ricky and Robinson, is mostly about the life of Branch Rickey, but it is also filled with much more than that. The author talks about how the commissioner Landis band the Cardinals farm teams when Rickey was their General Manager, saying that what he was doing was an unfair advantage. Though every player was being paid. The author goes through with how Rickey built the Cardinals before he left for the Dodgers. The Cardinals of course would go to the World Series in the 40s and wi ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every year, Major League Baseball salutes the memory of its first African-American player, Jackie Robinson. Every year, even as the celebration grows, the number of people who have first-hand memory of those days grows smaller.

Veteran baseball writer Roger Kahn remembers. He also remembers Branch Rickey, the man who was determined that the color line should be broken. He remembers Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first baseball commissioner who was equally determined that segregation was in “the be
Katherine Wacker
In his book, Rickey and Robinson: The True Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball, renown sports columnist, Roger Kahn, documents the roles of the two men, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, who were instrumental in breaking the color barrier in “America’s Favorite Pastime.” Kahn first gives a biography of each man before delving into the social and cultural environment of the time of Robinson’s entrance into the Major Leagues. Rickey and Robinson relies on the personal testimony of both me ...more
Larry Kunz
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A recounting of the integration of professional baseball by perhaps the only person still living who knew the protagonists (Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson) well.

Kahn promises to deliver all the background details about Rickey's great experiment, and he mostly keeps that promise -- although he wasn't there himself. (Kahn didn't start covering the Dodgers until 1952, five years after Robinson joined the team, so much of his information is based on conversations with Rickey and Robinson years af
victor harris
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kahn is one of baseball's enduring author treasures and he was a friend of both Rickey and Robinson and even co-authored a periodical with Jackie. He provides an interesting perspective on Rickey's decision to sign Robinson and break the baseball color barrier. Although Rickey, known as " El Cheapo" certainly had economic and altruistic motives, Kahn argues that it was not solely a profit driven decision. Other owners could have assumed the role of pioneer and declined. There was nobility in Ri ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story is familiar. Branch Ricky is determined to integrate baseball and selects a strong, talented Jackie Robinson to lead the way with the admonition that he would have to endure scorn and abuse with class and forbearance. Equally interesting, this is a memoir of sorts as Kahn looks back over a lifetime of covering baseball. There are delightful insights into Leo DeRoucher, Walter O'Malley, Dixie Walker, and his compatriot reporters Red Barber, Red Smith, Jimmy Cannon, and Jimmy Powers. A ...more
Bryan Jaketic
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fine piece of the mosaic that is the legend of Jackie Robinson, and we're luck to still have Roger Kahn with us to provide a voice from a bygone era. But I wouldn't start with this book to learn about Robinson, because it's more of a "fill in the gaps" book. It's also an historical account by a man who was part of the story, so it includes some of his opinions and biases that should be taken with a grain of salt - I particularly found his numerous (albeit brief) rants against adva ...more
George Briggs
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pioneers vs. The bigots

Roger Kahn writes a 'no holds bared' account of the historic, but often tenuous, entry of Jackie Robinson as the first Black baseball player in the major leagues. It's difficult to imagine that America still held on to racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices after fighting WW2. The courage of Branch Rickey and Robinson are benchmarks for those still fighting ignorance today.
Mike Carey
For some reason Roger Kahn's writing style doesn't' engage me. A good background of the two main characters and the social dynamics at play during the period of integration within baseball.
A very positive personality study of Branch Rickey, whom JR held in the highest regard.
JR was brave but so was Rickey in following his inner moral compass to make integration come to pass in baseball.
Michael Webb
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every Roger Kahn book, it seems to me, is about Roger Kahn first and its subject second. That being said, the author was there and I wasn't. It is a compelling story, well told, and if you haven't read any other books on the subject, this is a okay one to choose. Jonathan Eig and Red Barber and Jules Tygiel do more straightforward chronological stories.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all readers
Recommended to Brent by: publisher, Rodale Press
This is a great book, by one of the great lifetime baseball journalists, a sometime collaborator with Jackie Robinson, getting some things off his chest, and settling scores on coverage of the integration of baseball, at the end of his own life. I read it eagerly. You will, too.
Thanks to Rodale Press and Goodreads for the review copy.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of secondary research on the integration of baseball, so I enjoyed this book and the perspective of Kahn who covered Robinson's career.. Shamefully, I have never read his other works, so I can't compare it to his other books.

It would have benefited from additional editing. A couple of stories where mentioned more than once, such as Burt Shotton.
Did not like this one at all. Felt it was too preachy and made white baseball fans of today feel guilty about the ills of past exclusion of black players. Also felt Kahn gave himself too much credit for integration.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sportswriter Roger Kahn gives a thorough account of Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey , former Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager , and the integration of baseball in 1947 . Insightful and enjoyable. First Reads winner.
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book. Branch Rickey was a real visionary and had the guts to make things right. Jackie Robinson was a great human being. Wish I could have met him.
Richard Lehingrat
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book about breaking the color line in baseball, albeit repetitive at times. ****
Jim Blessing
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
This was the most interesting and informative book that I have read on this subject. A great read!
horace dudley jr.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good

Good read. Spent more time talking about newspaper history than what was going on the diamond. I would have we liked to see more focus on Jackie.
Martin May
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2016
Dan Franklin
rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2017
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Roger Kahn was best known for The Boys of Summer, about the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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