World War II had just ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now Americans were beginning to press for justice on the home front--and Jackie Robinson had a chance to lead the way. He was an unlikely hero. He had little experience in organized baseball, his swing was far from graceful, and he was assigned to play a position he had never tried before. But the biggest concern was his temper--Robinson was an angry man who played aggressively. In order to succeed he would have to control himself in the face of what promised to be a brutal assault by opponents of integration. Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, this a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration's promise and helped launch the modern civil-rights era.