According to Vanguard University’s Professor of History, John R. M. Wilson, Ph.D., the new movie “42” accurately reflects the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson.
As the author of a new biography about Robinson, which is found in the Library of American Biography series, Dr. Wilson can attest to the historical accuracy of the new movie “42”. His book, Jackie Robinson and the American Dilemma, is a fairly brief biography on Robinson’s life that was designed for collateral reading in college history classes. Recently released, “42” focuses on 18 months of Robinson’s life and captures the historic breakthrough in the world of baseball during his 1947 season with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Dr. Wilson emphatically praised the movie’s accuracy saying, “it’s great educationally, emotionally and historically.” Similar to someone who has read a popular book before seeing its movie version, Dr. Wilson said he could see a lot of things coming, which he was thrilled about because it meant the movie was keeping pretty close to historical fact.
In describing numerous specific details from the movie, Dr. Wilson believes it captured Robinson “quite well.” Being an avid baseball fan since the age of about seven, Dr. Wilson knows a thing or two about players and the game. He has written close to 55 articles for the American National Biography, most of which are about baseball players.
The invitation to write one of the biographies that would print in the Library of American Biography was a great honor to Dr. Wilson. The book was an opportunity to intertwine his love for baseball, his passion for history and his Christian faith, while writing about an amazing historical figure.
In the book, Dr. Wilson provides a survey of Robinson’s life with an emphasis on how important Robinson’s Christian faith was to him. Dr. Wilson said the movie incorporated moments reflecting Robinson’s commitment to his beliefs and he hopes that more than just Christian audience members will pick up on those moments.