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Ta-Nehisi Coates Between The World And Me

ISBN 13: 9781925240702

Between The World And Me

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9781925240702: Between The World And Me
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AN ATTEMPT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT RACE IN AMERICA, IN THE FORM OF A LETTER TO THE AUTHOR'S 14-YEAR-OLD SON

A bold and beautifully written exploration of America's fraught racial history and its contemporary echoes that will redefine wider understanding of race and the roots of American identity.


In the 150 years since the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment (the abolition of slavery), the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: it is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country's foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up and killed in the streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can America reckon with its fraught racial history?

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is Ta-Nehisi Coates' attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son - and readers - the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children's lives have been taken as American plunder. Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME offers a powerful new framework for understanding America's history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.

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Review:

"Between the World and Me is brilliantly structured, insightful and forcefully argued. He navigates the complexities and burdens of race in America compassed by a father's love for his son. But it s the soulful writing that makes the work a classic, prompting Toni Morrison to herald Coates as America's new James Baldwin and the MacArthur Foundation to announce his genius." --TIME's 100 Most Influential People

"I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates' journey, is visceral, eloquent and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading." --Toni Morrison

"Obama's statement also made me think of Between the World and Me, an extraordinary forthcoming book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in which he writes an impassioned letter to his teen-age son a letter both loving and full of a parent's dread counseling him on the history of American violence against the black body, the young African-American's extreme vulnerability to wrongful arrest, police violence, and disproportionate incarceration." --David Remnick in The New Yorker

"Immense, multifaceted... This is a poet's book, revealing the sensibility of a writer to whom words - exact words - matter... As a meditation on race in America, haunted by the bodies of black men, women, and children, Coates's compelling, indeed stunning, work is rare in its power to make you want to slow down and read every word. This is a book that will be hailed as a classic of our time." --Publishers Weekly

"The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Coates offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son's life... this moving, potent testament might have been titled Black Lives Matter." --Kirkus, starred review

"Ta-Nehisi Coates is the James Baldwin of our era, and this is his cri de coeur. A brilliant thinker at the top of his powers, he has distilled 400 years of history and his own anguish and wisdom into a prayer for his beloved son and an invocation to the conscience of his country. An instant classic and a gift to us all." --Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns

"I just finished an advance copy of Between the World and Me, a look at the racial history of our country by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It's really powerful and emotional." --John Legend in The Wall Street Journal

"Heartbreaking, confronting, it draws power from understatement in dealing with race in America and the endless wrong-headed concept that whites are somehow entitled to subjugate everyone else." - Capital

"In our current global landscape it's an essential perspective, regardless of your standpoint. " - Paperboy

"After all, Between the World and Me is an exhortation against blindness. Coates wants to push us to see the delusions we've been feeding ourselves and insist we struggle through the Dream, that false narrative of America's history, by reckoning with its ugliness. I use the word 'reckoning' carefully; I admired how Coates refrains from outright condemnations of the American experiment, wanting to wrestle with it rather than destroy it. Throughout he resists the urge to tie up these ugly complexities with anything pat, delivering a perspective, in many ways, that you could call post-cynical." --The Guardian

"One of the truest works I have read in a while: honest, arresting, and challenging throughout, its argument, on behalf of black struggle in a system with no incentive to change, feels not new but refreshingly old, something that had been submerged under distractions and niceties for too long." --Alexis Okeowo's Books We Loved in 2015 in the New Yorker

"An intimate, wise look at a problem that's finally getting nationwide attention. " --Flavorwire's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

"Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me is the one book you should read if you only read one book in the next couple months... Coates will leave you gasping with awe at the beauty of his language, even as you digest the bleakness of his message." --GQ's favourite books of 2015

"Forget, for a moment, the ubiquitous comparisons to James Baldwin: Though fitting in many ways, they can distract us from how original Coates's book truly is." --The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2015

"This work, which won the National Book Award in nonfiction, is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers when national events most conform to his vision." --The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2015

"Between the World and Me is one of the most powerful and poignant pieces of literature that I have read this year" --Socialist Review

"Coates combines an unapologetically defiant voice with a poetic sensibility to poignant effect." --The Independent

"Brutal and lyrical, elegant and searing." --Financial Times

"Between the World and Me is both a meditation on life in a country that weaponizes black skin and a rigorous examination of what Coates calls the Dream - the pernicious American concept of whiteness, fuelled since the days of the Middle Passage by the destruction of black bodies... a brilliant primer on the experience of black maleness in America and the man-made structures that shape it." --The Globe and Mail

About the Author:

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle (Spiegel & Grau, 2009). Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story 'The Case for Reparations'. He lives in New York with his wife and son.

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