In Yes I Can, his 1965 worldwide Number One Best Selling autobiography, Sammy Davis recounts the extraordinary obstacles he overcame to become the undisputed world’s greatest entertainer. He describes his personal conviction, the view of success that both propelled him to stardom and served as his armor against racism. “I have to be a star like another man has to breathe. I’ve got to get so big, so powerful, so famous that the day will come when they’ll look at me and see a man, and then somewhere along the way they’ll notice he’s a Negro.”
Beginning with his childhood in vaudeville Sammy writes with candor, often humor of the events that shaped his life: his jolting experiences in the army; the accident that took his eye and led to his conversion to Judaism; his friendship with Frank Sinatra; his risking professional destruction when, at the peak of his career he married a white woman: and, throughout, his encounters with racism.
A half century after it became an immediate bestseller, Yes I can is still an intensely absorbing book, full of the vitality and aggressive greatness of Sammy Davis, Jr.