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All In summary

Billie Jean King

An Autobiography

4.4 (32 ratings)
35 mins

Brief summary

All In by Billie Jean King is a memoir that explores her life as a tennis player and advocate for gender equality. She shares personal stories about her struggles as a female athlete and her pivotal role in the Battle of the Sexes.

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    All In
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    The Rules of the Game

    It was a typical Southern California day in the city of Long Beach. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the September air carried the spicy smell of the eucalyptus trees. It was 1954, and ten-year-old Billie Jean Moffitt was taking her first tennis lesson, along with a small group of other boys and girls.

    Already, Billie Jean was something of a sports fanatic. She loved basketball and softball, she’d tried swimming and golf, but there was just something about tennis. There was both variety and constant motion – running, jumping, and whacking the ball back and forth, again and again. It was also mentally challenging. In a word, it was perfect. Plus, when she asked her dad about “which sport would be best for a girl,” his reply was swimming, golf, and tennis. Without a doubt, tennis was way more appealing to Billie Jean.

    So, after her first lesson, it was decided – at least in Billie Jean’s mind – tennis was the thing she was going to do with her life. When her mom came to pick her up from the tennis court, she enthusiastically explained that she now wanted to be the world’s number one tennis player.

    Her mom’s reply was pretty much what you’d expect: a polite, “Okay dear.” A few years later, Billie Jean’s younger brother Randy would make a similar declaration at the dinner table when he told everyone he’d grow up to be a professional baseball player. Amazingly enough, both Billie Jean and Randy would follow through on their childhood aspirations. And in no small part, this was due to the fact that their parents never tried to put limits on their dreams. The Moffitts never had much money. They were a working-class family through and through – and sometimes her parents picked up extra work to pay for lessons, sports equipment, and travel expenses. But they were always supportive, and Billie Jean was always grateful for that.

    Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing from that day on. Not long after Billie Jean had made up her mind about tennis, she was taken to her first professional baseball game. She was shocked to discover that there were no female baseball players on either team. That’s when it first dawned on her that her plans had some built-in obstacles. It was now clear that even if she could play as well as the boys, that didn’t mean she’d be able to join them on the same playing field. This idea got reinforced sometimes by the neighborhood boys her age who could balk at the idea of playing sports with a girl, even if that girl was a better athlete than most of the boys.

    Fortunately, even as a kid, Billie Jean wasn’t easily dissuaded. In fact, as would happen time and time again, obstacles like these would just fuel her fire.

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    What is All In about?

    All In (2021) tells the remarkable life story of Billie Jean King, the woman who led a call for equality in women’s sports that soon reverberated around the world. King’s activism and refusal to back down led to real changes in the US legislature, with results that spread far beyond the realm of sports. All the while, King grappled with personal issues that would only find resolution later in life.

    All In Review

    All In (2021) by Billie Jean King is an inspiring memoir that takes readers on a journey through her life and career as a tennis champion and advocate for gender equality. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Filled with insightful reflections and personal stories, it offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by women in sports and society.
    • Through her experiences, King demonstrates the power of determination and perseverance, making it a source of inspiration for anyone striving for success.
    • With its emphasis on the importance of equality and inclusivity, the book sparks important conversations and encourages readers to question the existing norms.

    Who should read All In?

    • Sports fans
    • Activists and equal rights crusaders
    • Anyone who loves a good inspirational story

    About the Author

    Billie Jean King went from playing tennis on public courts in Southern California to being the world’s number one female player. She led the charge in creating the first women’s professional tennis tour, and earned 39 Grand Slam titles along the way. She’s the co-founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and a global ambassador of the Billie Jean King Cup.

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    All In FAQs 

    What is the main message of All In?

    The main message of All In is the power of dedication, equality, and resilience to create change in sports and society.

    How long does it take to read All In?

    The reading time for All In varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is All In a good book? Is it worth reading?

    All In is an inspiring and thought-provoking book. It offers a unique perspective on sports and equality, making it a worthwhile read for all.

    Who is the author of All In?

    Billie Jean King is the author of All In.

    What to read after All In?

    If you're wondering what to read next after All In, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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