Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me By Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Our rating: 5/5 stars

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 1,385 Ratings)

Between the World and Me read description and reviews

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Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Praise for Between the World and Me

“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”The Boston Globe

“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”The Washington Post

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”Vogue

“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”The New Yorker

“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”Entertainment Weekly

Between the World and Me book review; Between the World and Me book description; Ta-Nehisi Coates; Biographies & Memoirs books

Posted Reviews

  • One long diatribe

    1
    By Storm ID. MayorBilly
    And a tribal diatribe at that! Full of latent racism dressed up as prose and power. This can’t be all there is to this man, or can it?
  • Sit with how it makes you feel

    5
    By Livi_loo2
    This is a must read. As a person of privilege I needed this book and so do you. Coates helps to take off the blinders many Americans have. If you will sit with the discomfort you will feel as you read, when you get up you will live differently. We will be the better for it.
  • Guidance

    5
    By Epiph323
    This book not only helped me have an honest conversation with myself but prepared me for future conversations with my children.
  • Uninspiring

    2
    By jcrochford
    Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' newest book, Between the World and Me, I was reminded of a lecture given by George Falconer, the protagonist in Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man, who says to his students, “A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority–not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities, because all minorities are in competition: each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest.” I bring this up because Mr. Coates strikes me as a very angry man–not without a cause, I grant you. But his book, indeed, dares the majority to attack it; to proffer an experience that differs from his own; to challenge him by pointing out that the black and white that he describes are not always so simple, but sometimes very gray. Ta-Nehisi Coates strikes me as a man that, despite his case for reparations (see the Atlantic Monthly of June 2014), actually seeks revenge. I detect an attitude in Mr. Coates' that speaks not of healing and of a “transcendent vision for a way forward”, but of the fomenting of a generational hatred of those he perceives to be not only his own oppressors, but the future oppressors of his teenage son. If Mr. Coates wants revenge, perhaps he should plainly say so; it certainly sounds to me as if it's what he means to say.
  • Very Good Short Read

    4
    By Boo88tb
    Well written, very applicable to so many black folks today. It verbalized so many of the same feelings that I had been having since the beginning of the rash of killings of unarmed black men over the last few years. Highly recommended!
  • Powerful Message

    5
    By Kbodal
    This is a great book with a powerful message and written from first hand experience and knowledge. It is an easy read and a discourse we should all have.
  • Powerful

    5
    By C1fan
    Must read.
  • Honesty is Our Only Hope

    5
    By BrerBearPlace
    We Americans have been in a downward spiral, a maelstrom of racism since Europeans landed here. It has all been a pitiful rationalization of white laziness that somehow justified the enslavement of others. We still have not come to terms with that enslavement and degradation in the aftermath that continues to this day. There is no polite way to discuss this. The only way to face and overcome this endemic social disease is to honestly face this reality and shine a painfully bright light on it and ALL of our responsibility for this, OUR reality. ‘Between the World and Me’ is a great step in the right direction- read it!
  • Must read

    5
    By Mcloving Edward
    Must read. Will recommend this to any African American young adult
  • Amazing

    5
    By The Podson
    Amazing book

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