Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Release Date: 2015-07-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 1,866 Ratings

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Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • NAMED ONE OF PASTES BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • 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.


  • HHonorshk

    By louis opinion
    Li right hv)
  • Speechless

    By Ireke Onuma
    This is good. Top draw. Just amazing.
  • Read with your Black sons and daughters

    By Born Gift3d
    Great read for anyone looking to explore the subconscious and overt realities of being Black in America!!!
  • Incredible

    By TherealMcpiff
    Incredible book. A MUST READ for all in the community.
  • Must read

    By TheArchons
    Great book
  • Opinionated Fantasies

    By mod669898
    If you buy in to all this garbage, great. You’ll love the book. If you are a person of reason, don’t waste your time.
  • One long diatribe

    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

    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

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

    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.