The Worlds Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, Americas First Black Sports Hero Audiobook, by Michael Kranish Play Audiobook Sample

The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero Audiobook

The Worlds Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, Americas First Black Sports Hero Audiobook, by Michael Kranish Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: David Sadzin Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: May 2019 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781508286400

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

54:46 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

01:00 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

29:31 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Michael Kranish: > View All...

Publisher Description

In the tradition of The Boys in the Boat and Seabiscuit, a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking but forgotten figure—the remarkable Major Taylor, the black man who broke racial barriers by becoming the world’s fastest and most famous bicyclist at the height of the Jim Crow era.

In the 1890s, the nation’s promise of equality had failed spectacularly. While slavery had ended with the Civil War, the Jim Crow laws still separated blacks from whites, and the excesses of the Gilded Age created an elite upper class. Amidst this world arrived Major Taylor, a young black man who wanted to compete in the nation’s most popular and mostly white man’s sport, cycling. Birdie Munger, a white cyclist who once was the world’s fastest man, declared that he could help turn the young black athlete into a champion.

Twelve years before boxer Jack Johnson and fifty years before baseball player Jackie Robinson, Taylor faced racism at nearly every turn—especially by whites who feared he would disprove their stereotypes of blacks. In The World’s Fastest Man, years in the writing, investigative journalist Michael Kranish reveals new information about Major Taylor based on a rare interview with his daughter and other never-before-uncovered details from Taylor’s life. Kranish shows how Taylor indeed became a world champion, traveled the world, was the toast of Paris, and was one of the most chronicled black men of his day.

From a moment in time just before the arrival of the automobile when bicycles were king, the populace was booming with immigrants, and enormous societal changes were about to take place, The World’s Fastest Man shines a light on a dramatic moment in American history—the gateway to the twentieth century.

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“David Sadzin offers a solid narration that reflects the author’s straightforward style in this biography…Without any false emotion, Sadzin varies his pacing to match the dramatic narrative. Direct quotes are few and are usually short, so Sadzin wisely introduces them with only momentary pauses. Overall, this is an engaging story narrated in an equally engaging way. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Restores the memory of one of the first black athletes to overcome the drag of racism and achieve national renown.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “For anyone interested in cycling, technology, or social history, Michael Kranish’s The World’s Fastest Man offers a fascinating ride.”

    — Washington Post
  • “A fantastic exploration of the life of an athlete who should be a household name, but isn’t.”

    — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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About Michael Kranish

Michael Kranish, deputy chief of the Boston Globe’s Washington Bureau, has been a congressional reporter, White House correspondent, and national political reporter. Kranish coauthored, with other Globe reporters, John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography. He is also the author of Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War.

About David Sadzin

Sarah Naughton is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and New York City–based actress, singer, comedienne, and voice-over artist. She began her work in the audiobook industry in high school, recording a few young adult titles with the Syracuse-based company Full Cast Audio.