Johnson engagingly captures the lives, struggles, and triumphs of five men whose greatness transcended American sports.

THE BLACK BRUINS

THE REMARKABLE LIVES OF UCLA’S JACKIE ROBINSON, WOODY STRODE, TOM BRADLEY, KENNY WASHINGTON, AND RAY BARTLETT

How five black men helped to transform UCLA, college and professional sports, and American life.

In the late 1930s and early ’40s, at a time when the vast majority of American colleges and universities had no black athletes, UCLA had numerous black athletes across its athletic program. Five of these stars—the focus of this fine book by Johnson (Emeritus, Journalism/Univ. of Arizona; The Dandy Dons: Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Phil Woolpert, and One of College Basketball’s Greatest and Most Innovative Teams, 2009, etc.)—would go on to make tremendous contributions to American life beyond the playing fields, and three of them would be pioneers in integrating professional sports. Jackie Robinson is the most famous among them due to his epochal role in integrating Major League Baseball. Ironically enough, for Robinson, a four-sport star at UCLA and arguably one of the greatest all-around athletes in American history, baseball was probably the sport at which he was least adept. Kenny Washington—possibly the best college football player in the country when he was an upperclassman at UCLA—and Woody Strode also competed successfully in multiple sports and were pioneers in integrating professional football in 1946, months before Robinson debuted for the Dodgers. Ray Bartlett was the least well-known of the five men but was a multisport star who faced the same struggles as a leader in race relations. Tom Bradley was a college track star who became a vital member of the Los Angeles Police Department and, even more significantly, the first black mayor of LA. Indeed, all five men had impressive post-sports careers—Strode gained more fame as an actor than as an athlete—and in this short, elegant, important book, the author adeptly shows their lives as sporting and civic pioneers.

Johnson engagingly captures the lives, struggles, and triumphs of five men whose greatness transcended American sports.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4962-0183-6

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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