Once upon a time. . .when automobiles were black and looked like tanks and laundry was white and hung on clotheslines""--so begins this graceful, lucid account of the pivotal events that began with Branch Rickey's decision to hire Jackie Robinson as the first Negro League star of a major league team. Golenbock is candid about the choice of a man ""with the courage not to fight back,"" as well as about the ugly reception Robinson had from both the public and his new team, until--in the book's moving climax--Pee Wee Reese made a public move to stand by Robinson. Bacon's skillful, realistic illustrations, used in combination with occasional well-chosen photos, are as eloquent as the simple text.