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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author, basketball legend, and cultural commentator Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores the heart of issues that affect Americans today.

Since retiring from professional basketball as the NBA's all-time leading scorer, six-time MVP and Hall of Fame inductee Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a lauded observer of culture and society, a New York Times best-selling author, and a regular contributor to The Washington Post, TIME magazine and TIME.com.

He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, his most incisive and important work of nonfiction in years. He uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts, and authentic experience in essays on the country's seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide, both racial and political; parenthood; and his own experiences as an athlete, an African American, and a Muslim. The audiobook is not just a collection of expositions; he also offers keen assessments of and solutions to problems such as racism in sports while speaking candidly about his experiences on the court and off.

Timed for publication as the nation debates whom to send to the White House, the combination of plain talk on issues, life lessons, and personal stories places Writings on the Wall squarely in the middle of the conversation, as many of Abdul-Jabbar's topics are at the top of the national agenda. Whether it is sparring with Donald Trump, within the pages of TIME magazine, or full-length features in The New York Times Magazine, writers, critics, and readers have come to agree on what The Washington Post observed: Abdul-Jabbar "has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice."

©2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's] concerns are deep, his arguments well-founded, and his solutions straightforward. The trick is to get people to listen, but Abdul-Jabbar provides a good jumping-off point. Heartfelt sentiments on how racism, gender equality, and other social and cultural issues in America can be changed for the betterment of all." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 11-07-16

mild rant about almost everything

Wide and shallow reflections on what has to be improved in the USA. Narration would have been far stronger, had it been performed by the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On

What made the experience of listening to Writings on the Wall the most enjoyable?

Shaking up old habits, preconceived perceptions, long-held prejudices, Jabbar had me looking at my own processes of decision-making. I liked the information presented with the facts to support his points. He changed my vision of the whole picture presented by opinion shapers in our society.

What other book might you compare Writings on the Wall to and why?

I haven't read another book quite like this one.

Have you listened to any of Ben Adduchio’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have heard other performances and find that his voice and expression are very effective to deliver the ideas and opinions in this book.

If you could give Writings on the Wall a new subtitle, what would it be?

Rethinking the American Dream

Any additional comments?

As my first Audible book, this has been a great one. I enjoyed the experience as well as Jabbar's thoughts and ideas.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Intersectionality brilliantly explored!

Inspired by the fusion politics of Rev Dr William Barber, The Third Reconstruction, I was thrilled with the thorough analysis of linked oppressions and hopeful liberation by Mr. Abdul-Jabbar.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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NBA Great Writes a Compelling Book

If you are tempted to give this book a pass because you wonder what an athlete can possibly have to tell you, then you are making a grave mistake. Jabbar has written a remarkably insightful and powerful case against the various inequities that plague our society. Not only does he convincingly outline the various problems that are part of our modern landscape but he also provides a list of solutions to each problem. Jabbar starts with the problem of racism but doesn't stay there. He also has chapters on ageism, sexism, religious bigotry, the problem of "amateur" athletics, and the political divisions that are so detrimental to a civil society. Jabbar and his co-author, Raymond Obstfeld, have written a book that unfortunately will not be read, listened to, or comprehended by far too many people I suspect. And that truly is a shame, because I listened to this with growing appreciation not only for Jabbar as one of the NBA's greatest players (though to be truthful, as a Celtics fan, I rooted against him) but as a truly great, wise American. Today's America is a society that seems far too mean-spirited and small-minded. I hope we can learn lessons from the men and women of all types (ethnic, religious,political, sexual) before we reduce the American dream still further.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Book, yes, narrator, no

I greatly admire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a historian and public intellectual, so I found this book enlightening, inspiring and even charming. However, it fails mightily in terms of its narration. Since this book functions in part as a memoir, I would love to have heard Mr. Abdul-Jabbar read it himself. Instead, we get Ben Adduchio. He's a good narrator, and I'm sure that he has done a fine job on many other books, but he's a white guy. Normally, that would not matter in the least, but the words of a black man, talking about what it's like to face racial prejudice in America, just sound jarring and wrong in the voice of a white man. In the same way, a memoir of a white man discussing his experience with white privilege in our society would sound wrong if read by someone who was obviously from another ethnic group.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful