Friday, April 03, 2015

Retired UIS professor writes book on the history of racial integration in baseball's American League

Robert McGregor, emeritus professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield, has written a new book on the integration of baseball entitled A Calculus of Color: The Integration of Baseball's American League.

“The book endeavors to address a familiar history in a new fashion. There are plenty of books on Major League baseball's integration (Jackie Robinson especially) and several good books on the Negro Leagues, but no book that really tries to combine the parallel stories of the two institutions,” said McGregor.

The book begins with a discussion of race in American history and next examines the experience of the Negro Leagues and why they were created. The book includes a chapter on the American League as it functioned in the late 1940s, followed by several chapters on the painfully slow process of integration.

“The American League was far more reluctant than the National League, opening opportunities to address the underlying issues,” said McGregor.

The Library Journal says McGregor “slams a home run in dealing with racism in baseball and the larger picture of American life. McGregor's book makes for a compelling read. A best sports book of 2015, and one that will stand the test of time.”

A Calculus of Color was released on March 31, 2015 and was published by McFarland, a leading independent publisher of academic and nonfiction books based in North Carolina. The book, available in soft cover, is available for purchase on the publisher’s website at

McGregor taught environmental history, early American history, and the history of popular culture, including a course on baseball before he retired after 26 years of teaching at UIS in 2012. He now lives in Corning, New York.

For more information about the book, contact McGregor at

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