David W. Zang's "Fleet Walker's Divided Heart" is a detailed biography of a talented, tormented, late 19th century catcher: Moses Fleetwood Walker--America's first black major league baseball player. "Fleet" Walker was born in Mt Pleasant, Ohio on Wednesday, October 7, 1857. This simple fact is mentioned on the first page of "Divided Heart." It is from this unassuming birthday that Zang begins his interesting, but confusing, discussion fo Fleet Walker. After mentioning Walker's birth, Zang tries to explain how Walker's life follows the lines of the nursery rhyme: "Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go......" According to Zang, "it might have appeared that [Walker's mother], a midwife, used the nativity as a practicum and elected to give birth across the first four days of the week."(2) Following this, Zang attempts to connect the sixty-nine years of Walker's life to the nursery rhyme by saying " For as sure as he carried a full measure of woe, Fleet Walker was unquestionably fair of face, full of grace, and possessed of an ambition that would banish his dreams to distant places....Walker had overwhelmed the simplistic prophecies of the nursery thyme to such an extent that the possibility of a four-day birthing could not be dismissed out of hand(2)." This is only one of many, needless, airy speculations (as another reviewer called them) that wander from the solid facts of Walker's life. Because of these, the true essence of the man, Fleet Walker, is lost in "Divided Heart." The facts of Walker's life are intereting enough without Zang's meandering commentaries. Throughout the book, Zang points to several beliefs he has about Fleetwood Walker. He believes that Walker had a "divided heart," as he puts it; but he never pointedly explains what he believes this divided heart to be. The reader is left to wonder if the divided heart existed because Walker was considered a mulatto (mixed race of black and white), or if the divided heart existed because Walker wanted to belong to the white race and to the black race, but never fully belonged to either. Sometimes, the "divided heart" seems to belong to the author, who never fully explains why the story of Walker's life should be important to a reader today. After reading, it might be difficult for the reader to understand the importance, too. Walker was, indeed, the first black man to play major league baseball. He played collegiate baseball for Oberlin College in 1881, and for Michigan University in 1882. He also played professionally for the minor league New Castle, Pennsylvania, Neshannocks. When Walker began playing for the Toledo ball club of the Northwester League in 1883, the state was set for him to become the first black major league baseball player. How was this possible? In 1884, the Toledo club joined the American Association. At the time, the American Association was considered a major league. In a brief, but unusually clear way, Zang explains the process: "The American Association had been formed in the winter of 1881 with the avowed intent to become a major league rival to the National League, a status it won with an 1882 agreement meant to keep them from raiding National League rosters(40)." Because of the agreement, Walker became the first black major league baseball player. Due to injuries, Walker lasted only one season with Toledo. He never again played major league baseball, nor did any other black man until Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1947. After the first two chapters, which explain Walker's rise and fall from major league baseball, Zang shows how Walker's life turned into an aimless, but somewhat successful life of entrepreneurship, invention, race theory, and jail time. He played more baseball for some minor league teams, ending his career with the Syracuse Stars in 1889. Afterward, according to Zang, Walker did "temporarily lose the attention that had been his... he would reclaim it in dramatic and unhappy ways." Walker became a mail clerk, a murder defendant, a convicted mail thief, an inventor, an author on the subject of repatriation of blacks to Africa, and an opera house owner. Generally, the state of Ohio is shown to be a hospitable home to a black man in the late 1800's. Zang excels in showing the history of Ohio's Quaker population's rejection of racism, and in showing how Walker thrived in several businesses in different towns in Ohio. The last two chapters show how much affection Zang has for Walker. Zang's details in the end give some needed energy to Walker's story. Zang even explains the cost of the lid for Walker's casket. Unfortunately, Zang's writing does not follow a chronological timeline closely enough to be easily read. For clarity's sake, the reader will turn pages back and forth to put events in some order--a job usually fulfilled by an author. "Fleet Walker's Divided Heart" is a complicated, detailed biography of a complicated, historical figure. Too bad Zang never explains "WHY?"