On the Shoulders of Giants

  • by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
  • Narrated by Richard Allen
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In On the Shoulders of Giants, indomitable basketball star and best-selling author and historian Kareem Abdul-Jabbar invites listeners on an extraordinarily personal journey back to his birthplace. He leads us through one of the greatest political, cultural, literary, and artistic movements in our history, revealing the tremendous impact the Harlem Renaissance had on both American culture and his own life. Beginning with the rise of the Harlem Rens as pioneers of professional basketball, Kareem traces the many streams of historical influence that converged to create the man he is today: the NBA's all-time leading scorer and an African-American icon.
Travel deep into the soul of the Renaissance, to the night clubs, restaurants, basketball games, and fabulous parties that made footprints on Harlem's history. Meet the athletes, jazz musicians, comedians, actors, politicians, entrepreneurs, and writers who not only inspired Kareem's rise to greatness but an entire nation's.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born in the midst of a cultural reawakening and was carried on the shoulders of athletes trying to prove there was a lot more at stake than a ball game - men and women who made music that could break your heart; writers and intellectuals who gave voice not just to the ideals of a movement, but to its raw emotions. Kareem tells us what it took to get these revolutionaries to Harlem and how they changed a world that is still riding on the shoulders of giants.

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What the Critics Say

"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has created his next sky hook with this newest literary effort. He has skillfully interwoven his two biggest passions - basketball and jazz - and provides a greater understanding of how closely related they are." (Spike Lee)
"Kareem has offered his own unique perspective to the story of the Harlem Renaissance. By doing so, he has provided a moving history of a cultural place and time. As the saying goes, to know where you are going, you must know from whence you came. We came on the shoulders giants." (Muhammad Ali)
"Inspirational...Uplifting....With this vivid journey...Abdul-Jabbar continues his scholarly winning streak." (The Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The best of both worlds

For someone who is passionate about basketball and jazz, the book was a great treat. Kareem has given us such a colorful, in-depth, history of the music. It was a surprise to learn how closely it is linked to the history of blacks in professional basketball. The only drawback to the audiobook is the reader; he seemed to be trying very hard to sound learned, but he came off sounding pretentious; and he made several unfortunate mispronunciations. But I refused to let that get in the way of my thorough enjoyment of the book. I highly recommend it if you are a jazz fan, or a basketball fan, or just want to listen to a very well written book.
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- Marianne

Compelling

This is a very compelling and informative book. I've learned more from this book than I've learned in school on this subject matter.
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- Alexa S.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-16-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio