The Last Hero (Abridged): A Life of Henry Aaron Audiobook, by Howard Bryant Play Audiobook Sample

Download The Last Hero (Abridged): A Life of Henry Aaron Audiobook

The Last Hero (Abridged): A Life of Henry Aaron Audiobook, by Howard Bryant Play Audiobook Sample
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95
$7.95 for new members!(Includes UNLIMITED podcast listening) Add to Cart learn more
OR
Regular Price: $20.95 Add to Cart
Author: Howard Bryant Narrator: Dominic Hoffman Publisher: Random House Audio Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780307736895

Publisher Description

In the thirty-four years since his retirement, Henry Aaron’s reputation has only grown in magnitude: he broke existing records (rbis, total bases, extra-base hits) and set new ones (hitting at least thirty home runs per season fifteen times, becoming the first player in history to hammer five hundred home runs and three thousand hits). But his influence extends beyond statistics, and at long last here is the first definitive biography of one of baseball’s immortal figures.   Based on meticulous research and interviews with former teammates, family, two former presidents, and Aaron himself, The Last Hero chronicles Aaron’s childhood in segregated Alabama, his brief stardom in the Negro Leagues, his complicated relationship with celebrity, and his historic rivalry with Willie Mays—all culminating in the defining event of his life: his shattering of Babe Ruth’s all-time home-run record.   Bryant also examines Aaron’s more complex second act: his quest to become an important voice beyond the ball field when his playing days had ended, his rediscovery by a public disillusioned with today’s tainted heroes, and his disappointment that his career home-run record was finally broken by Barry Bonds during the steroid era, baseball’s greatest scandal.   Bryant reveals how Aaron navigated the upheavals of his time—fighting against racism while at the same time benefiting from racial progress—and how he achieved his goal of continuing Jackie Robinson’s mission to obtain full equality for African-Americans, both in baseball and society, while he lived uncomfortably in the public spotlight. Eloquently written, detailed and penetrating, this is a revelatory portrait of a complicated, private man who through sports became an enduring American icon.

Download and start listening now!

Awards

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Henry Aaron has always been one of my favorites. This is a strong bio on Henry ... don't call him Hank! "

    - Jim, 2/20/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Fantastic. Just fantastic. Will be THE Henry Aaron biography for years to come. "

    - Jeff, 1/29/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I was kind of critical of the first few chapters of this book, perhaps because Bryant takes his time revealing the complexity of the life and achievements of Henry Aaron, but within 100 pages, he had me hooked and I read the book in great gulps of time stolen from household chores and writing thank-you notes. Aaron truly is a hero, and he's gotten a book as rich and admirable as the man himself. "

    - Nick, 1/20/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book is a must read for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Baseball AND/OR history. "

    - David, 1/19/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I picked this book up because I like Howard Bryant's column in ESPN: The Magazine, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. It's one of the best biographies I've read in a while. Bryant got some great interviews with Aaron and people close to him. He did his historical research as well, which allowed him to put Aaron's life in context. The storytelling really brings the exciting baseball stories to life, and the issues of racism and segregation are covered well also. It's hard to believe that such blatant discrimination took place just decades ago, and even superstars were not immune to it. After reading this, I feel like I not only know a lot more about Henry Aaron but also understand his impact on the world, on the field and off. And it was just plain interesting and enjoyable. "

    - Heather, 1/13/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Except for occasional sportswriting cliches, this biography of Henry Aaron is an excellent book. There is plenty of baseball in this volume--pennant races, home run records, etc.--but like the recent Willie Mays biography, it is more than a baseball book, for it explores the role of race in the last half of the twentieth century in America. Racial issues deeply affected Aaron, who wanted to be seen as more than a baseball player but was caught in a world that defined and limited him by its racial expectations. Aaron was not always an easy individual to relate to but he comes across in this book as a genuine and thoroughly admirable human being. The volume is highly readable and is well worth reading, even by those who are not baseball fans. "

    - Gary, 1/9/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A comprehensive and well-written biography of a baseball legend whose life-story is somehow less known to baseball fans than it should be. Bryant changes all that with this book. The man behind the legend comes alive in this terrific account of Aaron's life in baseball and beyond. "

    - zumiee, 12/27/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A very involved long book that took me an unusually long time to read. The first part I found boring with little insight into Hank Aaron, but once I got through it, I enjoyed his later life and was glad I continued reading. It also touched on Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. "

    - Kay, 12/26/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Very good book about the Atlanta Braves icon. Warts and all biography. As a long time Atlanta Braves fan, I now understand why the fans and the city never really warmed to Henry Aaron. In spite of his refusal to play to the fans or the press, I now better appreciate his awesome baseball skills. "

    - Alan, 11/29/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " It's a home run! "

    - Robert, 9/24/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Wonderfully complex, this book does an excellent job of situating Henry Aaron in the cultural context of mid-20th century civil rights struggle. Bryant is to be congratulated on illuminating this complex and truly heroic figure. "

    - Dennis, 12/7/2012
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Not a bad portrait of the Hammer, who is a dignified and heroic demigod, but good god Howard Bryant, where did you learn how to write? "

    - Adam, 9/21/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Henry Aaron is amazing and his life and accomplishments are extraordinary. This biography does him justice. "

    - Gary, 6/29/2012
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " The author focuses too much on Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. It could have been a more concise book without those two chapters. "

    - Brian, 4/9/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " It's a book on how you deal with Pressure. Very good book. Baseball is a great backdrop for a powerful man to shine. "

    - Andre, 8/30/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Thought this was an excellent bio about a great baseball player that I really felt was real. Great way to begin baseball season, so much history. "

    - P.e.lolo, 12/3/2010
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Wonderfully complex, this book does an excellent job of situating Henry Aaron in the cultural context of mid-20th century civil rights struggle. Bryant is to be congratulated on illuminating this complex and truly heroic figure. "

    - Dennis, 9/4/2010
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Henry did not respond to people who called him "Hank" and he made mega-bucks selling BMW's in Atlanta. 4.5 rating "

    - Rod, 8/11/2010
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " OK Book about a real record holder and Baseball's historic integration "

    - Mark, 7/6/2010
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A very involved long book that took me an unusually long time to read. The first part I found boring with little insight into Hank Aaron, but once I got through it, I enjoyed his later life and was glad I continued reading. It also touched on Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. "

    - Kay, 6/27/2010
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Very good book about the Atlanta Braves icon. Warts and all biography. As a long time Atlanta Braves fan, I now understand why the fans and the city never really warmed to Henry Aaron. In spite of his refusal to play to the fans or the press, I now better appreciate his awesome baseball skills. "

    - Alan, 6/16/2010
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book is a must read for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Baseball AND/OR history. "

    - David, 6/14/2010

About the Author

Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine and has served as the sports correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006. In addition to The Heritage, he is the author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron; Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball; Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston; and the three-book Legends sports series for middle-grade readers. He has twice won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year and was a 2003 finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research Seymour Medal. In 2016, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award and received the 2016 Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

About the Narrator

Dominic Hoffman, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration, is a Los Angeles–based actor of stage, screen, and television. He has appeared in such television shows as The Shield, NYPD Blue, and The Jamie Foxx Show. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as well as the American Conservatory Theater.