... the urgency with which she writes — here with Johnette Howard and Maryanne Vollers — about her life’s work as an activist gives one the sense that it’s essential to her that the mantle is passed to the next generations (and that they’re fired up about it!) ... reads as a playbook of sorts, a life narrative peppered throughout with instructions for how to win the game. Yes, there are ready-made aphorisms everywhere ... Like many professional tennis players, King is in constant motion, not given to dwelling on highs and lows, as there’s always another battle that awaits. But she’s also an ardent student of history and a compelling narrator. She walks us through her remarkable life, which includes some of recent history’s most remarkable events ... King’s instincts to shape seismic events in culture have set the table for (and in some cases, created) conversations about race, gender identity, sexuality and equity that are especially resonant now, and it’s hard not to read this book as a call to arms...But it’s also plenty personal ... With the sport currently in turmoil over player unions, the lack of a viable domestic violence policy, a vociferous battle over press obligations and rumors of venture capital at the gates, ready (for better or worse) to buy it all up, King’s book arrives with the same exquisite timing that has defined her style of play as well as her life ... It’s easy work to be a former champion, easier still to be a legend — after all, the job requirements are nothing beyond showing up. But it’s not easy to be an activist, and it’s certainly not easy to commit your life to pushing the world closer to how you want it to be. All In reads as a manifesto, like Letters to a Young Poet with a heavy dash of bell hooks. Billie Jean King is not done yet, but as she says here, 'If you’re in the business of change, you have to be prepared to play the long game.' Her book is a powerful rallying cry, in a life full of them, for how she hopes we play the game after she’s gone.
... unflinchingly honest ... King, still as much of a tennis lover as ever, doesn’t hesitate to comment on contemporary players ... As she tells her riveting personal stories against the backdrop of the civil rights and women’s liberation movements, King provides context, reminding us that these were very different times indeed. While it was difficult to be a woman, it was far more challenging to be gay. The tennis champ was forced to make some hard decisions about her marriage and what secrets to keep in order to protect her career ... King continues to use her voice to inspire change. She sees this autobiography – she has written several books about tennis and a previous autobiography in 1982 – as a step in her personal liberation, a feeling that’s infused into this book’s every word ... It’s clear King was ready to tell her whole story, which she does with great self-awareness and humility, but never for one moment does she deny her rightful place in tennis history ... the best sports book of the year, leaving readers anticipating what King will serve up next.
Whether you are a tennis fanatic or merely someone who enjoys watching the U.S. Open, you will find All In a treat. It’s brimming with events you may not know about from tennis legend Billie Jean King ... a book of delightful trivia. And so much more. Striking details are included about life in many realms between the 1950s and now ... a must read for tennis aficionados as well as people interested in the myriad of changes in the world thanks to her and a cadre of women caring enough to change the world for the better.