Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture, this is the first - and only - definitive authorized account of Neil Armstrong, the man whose “one small step” changed history.

When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this "magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

In this “compelling and nuanced portrait” (Chicago Tribune) filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his 78 combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the near-50 years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.

A penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. “First Man burrows deep into Armstrong’s past and present.... What emerges is an earnest and brave man” (Houston Chronicle) who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler.

©2018 James R. Hansen (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about First Man

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Biography

This book is very well researched. Much of the narrative is based on recorded interviews and documents, some of which are pretty dry. War records and stuff you could get from the IMDB. Pays some lip service to controversies...Aldrin's personality, Aliens, "Faking" the landing, but doesnt really confront the issues.

Very accurate but does little to explain who this man was. Still, fascinating guy and an enjoyable book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Armstrong is historical

Armstrong is historical. His life story very exciting and rich with flavour.
I’m glad to have learned more about his life and will probably go see the museum about him with my family sometime in the future.
Thanks for creating this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Human History of the Human Future

Very intriguing book and dry at time with technical stuff but filled with interesting trivia and little chuckles. I would recommend it.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • A Reader
  • 2018-06-06

Not really 'unabridged'

I own the original hardcover book, for which Audible had previously offered only an abridged version.

I've been eagerly awaiting this "unabridged" version for several months, and downloaded it immediately when it became available. What a disappointment to learn that this audiobook is based on a new, abridged paperback version, published in preparation for the release of the "First Man" film later this year.

Drastic surgery has been done on the original. Chapters have been rearranged and entire passages eliminated. As a point of comparison, the original hardcover length is 784 pages; the new paperback is just 464 pages.

The Armstrong story is fascinating, but this audio production doesn't do it justice. Jeremy Bobb, the narrator, is monotonic, and between his reading style and the butchered editing of the original book, the chapters on Armstrong's early years in the Navy and as a test pilot sound like a resume recitation, full of numbers and obscure abbreviations.

I just finished the audio version of Michael Collins's "Carrying the Fire," which I found to be a better written story with a much more evocative narrator (David Colacci).

84 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Josh Boyle
  • 2018-10-26

As always, the book is better than the movie

This was a very well written and interesting book from start to finish. So much so, that almost any time I could listen to a few minutes, I would pop in my earphones. While it provides many facts and details about Neil Armstrong, I still left not feeling as though I knew him as a friend would know him, as I sometimes feel with other biographies. However, given Armstrong's very private nature, I think that is what he would have preferred, and in that sense I feel the author spectacularly succeeded.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Watson
  • 2018-09-02

First Man

The first half is full of names and dates but your patience will be greatly rewarded with the second half.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick Jennings
  • 2018-06-12

Insightful Biography

Thought this was going to be a dry recital of facts about a very interesting person. However, once I got into this book it was hard to put down. Very much appreciate the writing and telling of this book. Also, it is ended in a very wonderful way!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Darrough
  • 2018-07-17

Best overall book on Neil Armstrong!

A significant amount of detailed information relating to Apollo 11 mission and how difficult it was in order to be successful. Most people think about Armstrong as a lucky person to be chosen as the first man to set foot on the moon. None of this would’ve been possible if it were not for the following three attributes of Armstrong.

1- excellent pilot
2- ability to deal with stress during emergency procedures
3- very mechanically knowledgeable with engineering background.
4-Ability to work with different type of people under all kinds of conditions

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Texican Scotty
  • 2021-02-15

My boyhood hero....and still is

Sometimes you become sad when a book ends and this was one of them. The ending made me tear up because it was a wonderful way to end Neil's story. What a remarkable man...I loved this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B C
  • 2020-11-07

Just the facts

Straightforward account of the life of First Man. A few rough edits in the audio, but overall ok.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg, Bremerton
  • 2020-06-10

Good Listen

Good story, got to hear about things I didn't know, I prefer to stay on the ground.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-17

Moved to tears

This book is so fantastically filled with details I had never known of. Not only about Mr. Armstrong, but of the entire Apollo 11 team and event. And so full of scientific facts. The few unknown stories about Neil himself are so dear. I know I will read and listen to this book again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • jerryherbst70
  • 2019-11-25

"First Man" is first rate.

A positive review on Audible begins with admiration for its narration. This is demonstrably true here.
Is it possible to hyprerbolize a biography of Neil Armstrong? The confluence of a great man with his story requires that it be so recognized.
Any reader who chooses such a narrative will needs be pleased in this choice.