“Here is Jackie Robinson as we’ve never seen him before – wielding a pen instead of a baseball bat, and doing so with devastating effect. Michael G. Long’s book is not only an important contribution to history, it’s a thrilling story that reveals the making of a true American hero. Page by page, we watch as a great athlete becomes a great man. First Class Citizenship is first class all the way.”—Jonathan Eig, author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
“When I was growing up in Atlanta, I saw Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers play an exhibition game against the local white team. It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my childhood. I remember feeling as if Robinson had won something for all of the black people in the stands that day, and I had much the same feeling as I read the letters in this remarkable book. First Class Citizenship shows us Jackie Robinson at the center of the political battles of the civil rights movement, and we are fortunate to have his words to help guide us today.”—Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., senior managing director, Lazard, former president of the National Urban League, and author of Vernon Can Read!
“First Class Citizenship is a rich and impressive reminder of how a courageous, pioneering athlete can also become an insistent and independent-minded political activist on behalf of human rights for all.”—David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing The Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
“These letters from and to Jackie Robinson demonstrate clearly the stirring political and intellectual reach of the man, his rare courage and vision. They document his unrelenting desire to match his prowess on the baseball field with significant achievements in politics, business, and civil rights. It is clear that, compared to Robinson, few of our star athletes have possessed as profound a sense of responsibility to their fellow citizens--rich and poor, black and white--and to their nation as a whole.”—Arnold Rampersad, author of Jackie Robinson: A Biography
“First Class Citizenship presents a full picture of the man whose grace and confidence on the field were matched (if not surpassed) by a voice that spoke out, long and loud, for the equal opportunity, civil rights, and humanity of all Americans. Jackie Robinson’s letters are a rich and invaluable contribution to his singular legacy and to the dynamic history of the civil rights movement.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“Offers a personal perspective on the ballplayer’s political evolution.”—The New York Times
“More revealing than much of what has been written about Robinson over the years.”—Ebony/Jet