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On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance Paperback – Illustrated, December 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 119 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""On the Shoulders of Giants" will be another success for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Working with him daily we've shared our love of jazz and he has not only the knowledge of its history, but its place of import in a community that he grew up in during the latter stages of the Harlem Renaissance. I've been behind those shoulders when he's turned for that sky hook and this will be another score for Kareem."

-- Phil Jackson, Head Coach, Los Angeles Lakers

"As I watch younger generations idolize sports and entertainment figures today, my greatest hope is that they will be sufficiently attracted to Kareem's iconic and legendary status to pick up "On the Shoulders of Giants." It will help teach them who they are, how they arrived there and help them to take their own places in history."

-- James Briggs Murray, Curator, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

"Because of his public display of physical and personal grace, I welcome Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book "On the Shoulders of Giants.""

-- Maya Angelou

"Besides being a great athlete, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most intelligent individuals I have ever met. The passion he has for his heritage is something that all African-Americans should be inspired by."

-- Jim Hill, CBS Sportscaster

"During the Harlem Renaissance of the '30s, the African-American community responded to relentless oppression, segregation and disenfranchisement by exploding with an outburst of artistic and political achievement that has never been duplicated in American history. Perhaps Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's vivid and moving rendering of that time in "On the Shoulders of Giants" can inspire the next generation to connect to that rich artistic history and thereby overcome the 'get rich or die tryin'' mentality to once again ascend to heights of accomplishment which truly manifests their capabilities."

-- Herbie Hancock

"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 that can be experienced by our children and grandchildren. As the saying goes, to know where you are going, you must know from whence you came. We came on the shoulders of giants."

-- Muhammad Ali

"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

"The brilliance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was never limited to on-court accomplishments, and "On the Shoulders of Giants" is another shining example of this. Kareem re-opens the door to history and captures the essence, energy, creativity and spirit of the Harlem Renaissance and the influential artists and players who defined that era."

-- David J. Stern, NBA Commissioner

"When I contrast the mature and thoughtful perspective expressed here with the inanity and self-absorption of so much of the modern sports world, I am moved to ask not 'where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?'...but, 'where have you gone, Arthur Ashe? Where have you gone, Kareem?' Well, luckily Kareem has not left and gone away. You just need to look for him in the pages of this remarkable book."

-- Bob Costas

"With the same passion and grace that he played with, Kareem takes us into his heart and soul in "On the Shoulders of Giants." His history of Harlem and his family, and all their gifts to him and society is quite profound. By taking this personal revealing journey to Harlem's past, Kareem is preparing us for its present and future. What other superstar athlete could write a book like this?"

-- Billy Crystal

About the Author

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is recognized by Sports Illustrated and Time magazine as history's greatest basketball player (he is the NBA's all-time leading scorer). The author of several New York Times bestsellers, Kareem's previous books include Giant Steps, Kareem, Black Profiles in Courage, A Season on the Reservation, and Brothers in Arms. Since his retirement as a player in the NBA, Kareem has worked as a special assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and acted as a volunteer coach for children on the White Mountain Apache reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona. On the Shoulders of Giants is currently in production as a documentary film.

Raymond Obstfeld is an associate professor of English at Orange Coast College, and is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including studies of the Italian Renaissance, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Moby-Dick.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster; Illustrated edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 141653489X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1416534891
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1250L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 119 ratings

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian--7'2&quot; tall, basketball's all-time leading scorer, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (our nation's highest civilian honor) which was awarded from President Obama. He writes extensively, for The Hollywood Reporter &amp; The Guardian Newspaper and has published 15 books; Giant Steps (biography), Kareem (last year in NBA), What Color is My World (children's), Profiles in Black Courage, Brothers in Arms (military history), On the Shoulders of Giants (black history), Coach Wooden &amp; Me (our 50-year friendship and Becoming Kareem On and Off the Court (YA). His first novel Mycroft Holmes, starring Sherlock Holmes lesser well known but far more talented older brother, was published in 2015. The Mycroft trilogy is now complete and available online.

For more information visit: KareemAbdulJabbar.com

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
119 global ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kareem Abdul Jabbar: A Giant & Masterful Teacher and Writer!
By Junior Lion 48 on March 4, 2020
My grandparents, the Reverend James E Peters and Lennie Frances Ruff Peters, migrated from Kershaw County South Carolina, with four sons and two daughters, to New York City around 1921. He founded a Baptist Missionary which later became the First Calvary Baptist Church, still in existence. I was born in January 1948 at Harlem Hospital, resided at 293 Lenox Avenue, Apt. 3A (corner 125th St.), and educated in Public Schools, enlisted in armed services at age 17.

On the Shoulders of "Kareem Abdul Jabbar", whom I've admired since Power Memorial, I continue to learn, absorb and understand "ME" much more with each reading. On my third reading!
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