Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon” as Want to Read:
Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  134 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In 1996 Tupac Shakur, one of the most talented artists of his time, was murdered by an unknown gunman. Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar examine the theories surrounding his death and the story of Tupacâs lost legacy in this definitive biography.

For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his life spun out

Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Da Capo Press (first published January 5th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tupac Shakur, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tupac Shakur

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 28, 2016 DavidJ rated it did not like it
He's living on the moon this book is a lie
Jack McMahon
Nov 08, 2016 Jack McMahon rated it it was amazing
Jack McMahon, 11/8/16, Pd 7, Truth!
I read "Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon" by Tayannah Lee McQuillar and Fred L. Johnson III, PhD. This book was a 249 page non-fiction story about the life and death of american rapper Tupac Shakur. Before reading this book, I had watched a movie called "Notorious" about the Notorious B.I.G., also an american rapper. It was about the life of him and how he became a rapper. It also talked a lot about the death of him, and you may not know, bu
4Thurman A
In Tupac Shakur: The Life and Time of an American Icon, authors Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar tell the story of the childhood spent in poverty of one of the most famed American rappers, and the events leading up to his tragic murder in 1996. Shortly before his death, Tupac ran into trouble with the law, facing accusations of rape and other crimes. During this time, his records label “left him for dead”, doing all in their power to erase all evidence they were ever affiliated with ...more
Dylan Murak
Jan 13, 2016 Dylan Murak rated it really liked it
I just finished Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon. I really, really liked this book, it was a great story of Tupac’s struggle and it talked about his music and it was always filled with action. This book is a great read for free time, I like this book because it’s something i’m interested in not because I was assigned to it. I could read this book in class or at home whenever and not feel pressured to finish it. Lord know’s I didn’t want to put this down with all the shootings ...more
Tyler Scott
Sep 19, 2016 Tyler Scott rated it really liked it
This book is about the life of Tupac Amaru Shakur. This talks about his early years and his death in 1996. He was born under the name Lesane Parish Crooks but his name was changed later during his birth. This book is an inspiration for young people to read.
Cameron Evans
Jan 05, 2012 Cameron Evans rated it it was amazing
This book is about Tupac Shakur and about how his life was as a kid and as he grew up and became a rapper. The main character in this book is Tupac Shakur. The main character in this went to Baltimore School for the Arts when he was a teenager and was born in 1971. Tupac had lot of problems as a kid. When Tupac was a kid he was always moving and he was even homeless at times. His mother also was a drug addict for a long period. Tupac’s life was an adventure when he was in his teens he had had to ...more
5Witterstaetter M
Feb 05, 2016 5Witterstaetter M rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susana Galvez
Nov 14, 2011 Susana Galvez rated it liked it
I liked that this book was esily readable and was very informative. I had really no idea or knowledge about most of the things that were talked about in it. It gave me a sense of the kind of person he was, aside from the big, American icon that everyone knows about. However, i think the book could have been longer; i felt like it left many things unanswered and basically "jumped" or rushed over some of the events in his life just so they could get to his death and that whole incident faster. The ...more
Tupac Shakur is my favorite Artist of all time, and this book really reveals the side of him that no one thinks of when they hear his lyrics. This book explains how since day one Shakur was struggling, and it reveals the depth and meaning behind all his songs. I really enjoyed how this book was written as well. It kind of just sucks you in to his life, ad every step forward or backward he took, I took it along with him. It also reveals the different personal thoughts of the people surrounding ...more
Mar 05, 2013 BlerdGirlBookworm rated it really liked it
I decided I wanted to know more about 2Pac after reading his book of poetry, The Rose That Grew from Concrete. For someone who has never listened to his music, this was the perfect biography. His life was fascinating and sad. Most people know him as a rapper and actor, but he was also a revolutionary. After his mother became involved with the Black Panther Party and renamed her son after an Incan revolutionary, he felt pressured to live up it. 2Pac only felt truly alive when he was immersed in ...more
May 23, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this but in the end the lack of editing to get a strong, cohesive story makes this a noble failure. His story is fascinating and I will keep my eye out for a better telling. This feels like two different people wrote sections and quickly tried to marry the two into the same book. The history of what was happening at the time in the US is somewhat better written than the story of Tupac's life so it feels uneven from the start. The decision to tell US history is important, but ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Dustin rated it liked it
After learning more about his life, I can definitely say I am not a Tupac fan. He apparently abused women, shot people, did a lot of drugs, and hung with gangsters. He was unfortunate to have been born into harsh conditions of poverty, drug abuse, violence, and a single parent home, but that doesn’t give someone a free pass for terrible behavior. And I can’t say I really like his music. He has a few good songs, but I definitely can’t relate to most of what he sings about.

This book is very choppy
Aug 15, 2012 Kim rated it liked it

Kind of disjointed, didn't really follow a timeline, and bad fact-checking - most notably the very well-known case of Loving v Virginia, mistakenly referred to as Love v State of Virginia (it calls itself a "commonwealth"). Such an oversite made me less than confident about other things I was reading being thoroughly researched. However, it was enjoyable and did go into depth about little known facts about Tupac. I read it in three days, because it kept me interested. Now I just want to read ano
Jun 17, 2015 John rated it really liked it
The hit had to be paid for by someone with deep pockets. It had to have cost at least a million dollars. Tupac just laying there saying, “I can't breathe, I can't breathe."

Will Tupac's fans ever see someone stand trial for the crime? That is highly unlikely & we don't need to dwell on it. What we should do is make sure that the young people in our lives learn self-control, respect for human life, & that brains, charm, & hard work will help them reach their goals.
May 29, 2013 Zack added it
i really liked this book. the writers did a really good job of setting up a lot of the historical context in which he lived. it was a fascinating sad story. i wish i knew tupac, especially when he was like 19/20...i think we could have been good buds.
Rushay Booysen
Apr 22, 2011 Rushay Booysen rated it really liked it
I guess we heard,read about the life of Tupac several times.There is just something that always draws us back to his life.Another good read that informed me on pieces of his life i never knew.To the memory of Pac
Jun 21, 2012 wayne rated it liked it
i did not always agree with the authors interpretations (or saw a different side to them), but it brought pac back to life for me for a little while.
Apr 24, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
Interesting, though a little clinical and academic in its writing. Still, worth the read. I particularly liked the small amount of black history it covered. Not enough of it is taught in school.
Nick rated it it was ok
Sep 09, 2010
Joshua Castro
Joshua Castro rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2014
Logan Hereford
Logan Hereford rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2015
Jeff Hoessle
Jeff Hoessle rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2011
Brian Avant
Brian Avant rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2015
Diana Guzman
Diana Guzman rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2016
Joey Singson
Joey Singson rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2013
Brion rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2012
Hunter Gagnon
Hunter Gagnon rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2015
Marcus Lambert
Marcus Lambert rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2014
N.C rated it liked it
Jun 08, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Tupac: A Thug Life
  • Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.
  • LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implications of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal
  • Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
  • Rebel for the Hell of It: The Life of Tupac Shakur
  • Resurrection, 1971-1996
  • It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  • The Killing of Tupac Shakur
  • Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God
  • Tupac Shakur
  • And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years
  • Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement
  • Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson
  • Tupac
  • Tupac Shakur Legacy
  • Before The Legend: The Rise Of Bob Marley
  • Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography Of The First Lady Of Jazz
  • Keep The Faith

Share This Book