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Download First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong Audiobook, by James R. Hansen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (420 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James R. Hansen Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN: 9780743554541
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On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch 38-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment.

Upon his return to earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also -- as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important biography -- misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as engineer, test pilot, and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over.

In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In First Man, the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form this portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • First Man contributes a host of fascinating new insights into the nature of the spacefaring enterprise itself. A book for all time.” 

    Walter Cronkite 

  • “A fine authorized biography brimming with groundbreaking research, fresh anecdotes and fair-minded analysis.” 

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “To understand Armstrong on his own terms is to see a large truth of our time…A compelling and nuanced portrait of the astronaut.” 

    Chicago Tribune 

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew Kresal | 2/19/2014

    " A rather long read thats eems dry and dull for the most part. Much of it isn't new information and that hurts the book sigfnicantly. But it does offer some new insights into Neil after Apollo 11 and his feelings baout some of the controversies and myths that have come up around him since it, which makes for a n intreting finals ection of the book. Yet while it is intresting at times, this still takes some effort to get through "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsty | 2/14/2014

    " Found this book very difficult to get into. Lots of details about Neil Armstrong's career, but very little about what makes him tick as a person. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas Brehon | 2/14/2014

    " A comprehensive overview of the first human being to set foot on another word, in which we discover a brilliant and focused individual who saw his destiny as just another day at the office. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/7/2014

    " A little long & dreary but given history well worth the effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pru Shady | 2/3/2014

    " A tough read - not sure whether a lot of this is really fact. The man is very reclusive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/27/2014

    " Tons of info. Just too much of it!!! Gave up on page 405 when I ran out of library renewals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee Thackston | 1/15/2014

    " Tremendous detail offered about Armstrong's life and career that was previously unavailable because of his pseudo reclusivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Billy Williams | 12/31/2013

    " Slow but insightful start. Picks up speed once the space program starts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Moskos | 8/5/2012

    " This is Armstrong's "official" biography. It is an comprehensive detailing of Armstrong's life that's probably best read by those with a keen interest. As others have pointed out, the first parts of the book are a chore (read: TEDIOUS), but it gets more interesting as it goes along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 TJ | 1/29/2012

    " A little too detailed, but a very good biography of an inspiring man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brent | 1/13/2012

    " Yes, I'm a nerd. I found the story well-told very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudette | 8/8/2011

    " Excellent. I wish I hadn't waited so long to read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clay Davis | 1/9/2010

    " A very in depth bio of Neil from childhood to old age. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 9/4/2008

    " I enjoyed this book...once I got past his time as a test pilot & into the NASA time period of his life & preparing for the moon. I'm a sucker for any books that have to do with the Gemini & Apollo periods of space exploration & those astronauts, so I really enjoyed that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 2/15/2008

    " If you've ever wondered why Neil Armstrong was the one they picked to be the first on the moon, this book will spell it out, and you will agree. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 7/12/2007

    " This was a great biography. I feel like I really know Neil Armstrong now. He has had a really exciting life. I can't imagine how much his life changed after he walked on the moon. I would hate to be a worldwide celebrity. It was hard for him to have any privacy for the rest of his life. Good Read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 4/25/2007

    " This is a very thorough, very detailed biography. Many parts were too detailed for my personal taste but I now know a lot about Neil Armstrong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/7/2006

    " An excellent bio of someone not known to give up much info. Absolutely fascinating and in-depth. "

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About the Author

James R. Hansen is aprofessor at Auburn University in Alabama and an acclaimed author. An expert in the history of science and technology, he has written books and articles covering a wide variety of topics ranging from the early days of aviation, nuclear fusion, and moon landings, to environmental concerns. His biography of Neil Armstrong, First Man, made the New York Times bestseller list and garnered many awards.  

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time.