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Between the World and Me Hardcover – Jul 14 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (July 14 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812993543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812993547
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“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’s 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

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

“Really powerful and emotional.”—John Legend, The Wall Street Journal

“Extraordinary . . . [Coates] writes an impassioned letter to his teenage 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, The New Yorker

“Brilliant . . . a riveting meditation on the state of race in America . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders, and it is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers at the very moment national events most conform to his vision.”The Washington Post

“An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir written in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . It is less a typical memoir of a particular time and place than an autobiography of the black body in America. . . . Coates writes with tenderness, especially of his wife, child, and extended family, and with frankness. . . . Coates’s success, in this book and elsewhere, is due to his lucidity and innate dignity, his respect for himself and for others. He refuses to preach or talk down to white readers or to plead for acceptance: He never wonders why we just can’t all get along. He knows government policies make getting along near impossible.”The Boston Globe

“For someone who proudly calls himself an atheist, Coates gives us a whole lot of ‘Can I get an amen?’ in this slim and essential volume of familial joy and rigorous struggle. . . . [He] has become the most sought-after public intellectual on the issue of race in America, with good reason. Between the World and Me . . . is at once a magnification and a distillation of our existence as black people in a country we were not meant to survive. It is a straight tribute to our strength, endurance and grace. . . . [Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America.”Los Angeles Times

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

“A work that’s both titanic and timely, Between the World and Me is the latest essential reading in America’s social canon.”Entertainment Weekly

“Coates delivers a beautiful lyrical call for consciousness in the face of racial discrimination in America. . . . Between the World and Me is in the same mode of The Fire Next Time; it is a book designed to wake you up. . . . An exhortation against blindness.”The Guardian

“Coates has crafted a deeply moving and poignant letter to his own son. . . . [His] book is a compelling mix of history, analysis and memoir. Between the World and Me is a much-needed artifact to document the times we are living in [from] one of the leading public intellectuals of our generation. . . . The experience of having a sage elder speak directly to you in such lyrical, gorgeous prose—language bursting with the revelatory thought and love of black life—is a beautiful thing.”The Root

“Rife with love, sadness, anger and struggle, Between the World and Me charts a path through the American gauntlet for both the black child who will inevitably walk the world alone and for the black parent who must let that child walk away.”Newsday

“Poignant, revelatory and exceedingly wise, Between the World and Me is an essential clarion call to our collective conscience. We ignore it at our own peril.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Masterfully written . . . powerful storytelling.”New York Post

“One of the most riveting and heartfelt books to appear in some time . . . The book achieves a level of clarity and eloquence reminiscent of Ralph Ellison’s classic Invisible Man. . . . The perspective [Coates] brings to American life is one that no responsible citizen or serious scholar can safely ignore.”Foreign Affairs

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating in its precision, Coates has penned a new classic of our time.”Vogue

“Powerful.”The Economist

“A work of rare beauty and revelatory honesty . . . Between the World and Me is a love letter written in a moral emergency, one that Coates exposes with the precision of an autopsy and the force of an exorcism. . . . Coates is frequently lauded as one of America’s most important writers on the subject of race today, but this in fact undersells him: Coates is one of America’s most important writers on the subject of America today. . . . [He’s] a polymath whose breadth of knowledge on matters ranging from literature to pop culture to French philosophy to the Civil War bleeds through every page of his book, distilled into profound moments of discovery, immensely erudite but never showy.”Slate

“The most important book I’ve read in years . . . an illuminating, edifying, educational, inspiring experience.”—Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

“It’s an indescribably enlightening, enraging, important document about being black in America today. Coates is perhaps the best we have, and this book is perhaps the best he’s ever been.”Deadspin

“Vital reading at this moment in America.”U.S. News & World Report

“[Coates] has crafted a highly provocative, thoughtfully presented, and beautifully written narrative. . . . Much of what Coates writes may be difficult for a majority of Americans to process, but that’s the incisive wisdom of it. Read it, think about it, take a deep breath and read it again. The spirit of James Baldwin lives within its pages.”The Christian Science Monitor

“Part memoir, part diary, and wholly necessary, it is precisely the document this country needs right now.”New Republic

“A moving testament to what it means to be black and an American in our troubled age . . . Between the World and Me feels of-the-moment, but like James Baldwin’s celebrated 1963 treatise The Fire Next Time, it stands to become a classic on the subject of race in America.”The Seattle Times

“Riveting . . . Coates delivers a fiery soliloquy dissecting the tradition of the erasure of African-Americans beginning with the deeply personal.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Between the World and Me] is not a Pollyanna, coming-of-age memoir about how idyllic life was growing up in America. It is raw. It is searing. . . . [It’s] a book that should be read and shared by everyone, as it is a story that painfully and honestly explores the age-old question of what it means to grow up black and male in America.”The Baltimore Sun

“A searing indictment of America’s legacy of violence, institutional and otherwise, against blacks.”Chicago Tribune

“I know that this book is addressed to the author’s son, and by obvious analogy to all boys and young men of color as they pass, inexorably, into harm’s way. I hope that I will be forgiven, then, for feeling that Ta-Nehisi Coates was speaking to me, too, one father to another, teaching me that real courage is the courage to be vulnerable, to admit having fallen short of the mark, to stay open-hearted and curious in the face of hate and lies, to remain skeptical when there is so much comfort in easy belief, to acknowledge the limits of our power to protect our children from harm and, hardest of all, to see how the burden of our need to protect becomes a burden on them, one that we must, sooner or later, have the wisdom and the awful courage to surrender.”—Michael Chabon

“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 four hundred 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. Between the World and Me is an instant classic and a gift to us all.”—Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns

About the Author

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow, 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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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this magnificient piece of work twice in a week, I just had to. It's masterfully both polemic and memoir which bodes well for stylistic points as well for poignant and visceral argument. On par with great public intellectuals, Coates excels in balancing historicity, social commentary with an authentic voice. If there's a critique to this endeavor, its that it left the reader with asking more questions before picking up the book. As the writer that he is, Coates, is gradually taking us on a journey to redeem our moral conscious. Coates does not sucumb to solutionism has one of the the temptations in confronting socials sins. It takes more. And similarly, such a task asks for more writing from Coates -- which is to the world's benefit.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A smooth flowing account written with a deep insight that is inspiring. Reminds me of Anton Chekhov's letter to his brother Nikolai and Joseph Nana's account to his son Hans in the historical saga Disciples of Fortune. Accounts like these that jolt us out of our comfort zones as unquestioning consumers of narratives that do not lead us to the truth, to thinkers, analysts of the world we live in and seekers of the truth aimed at finding harmony; enrich our lives and help us to become better human beings in a world where truth often gets twisted.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Literally could not put it down. Sobering, shameful, maddening, sad, educational. The dream is a nightmare, we must wake up.
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Through the prism of the human "black" condition, the author strikes at the heart of the dark matter in our universal human condition. Poetic, radically lucid, heartbreakingly well written, it's a visionary call for fearless consciousness, at the individual and collective levels. A book so relevant, intriguing and forceful that it will at times suspend your ability to breath for a moment. And if you have a child as I do, or even are an enlightened grown up for a child or younger person in your circle, this book might give you the idea to also write to that person from the point of view of what you truly see, in that space between you and the world. A thought provoking must-read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a powerful manifesto, a letter from a father to a son, focusing on the structure of US society. The people that think they are white continue to structurally own and repress the bodies of those who are black. The power of this account cannot be overstated, although the account itself may be. Coates has no place in his account for the non-violence of MLK and the emphasis on oppression could be taken as a disempowering one. But the power of this account lies in its efforts, using the considerable writing abilities of Coates, to redefine racial struggle, to question the very concept of race and racisim. In this, there may indeed be something that lasts
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Honest, enlightening, passionate and necessary. You want to start to understand the Black experience, the American Dream/Nightmare and how America works? Read this.
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A good friend recommended this a few days ago and I finished it 10 minutes before this review. This is to say that not only is it difficult to put down, it is perhaps the most important book I've read in a very long time. Raw, relevant, eloquent and unapologetic, Coates touches upon a number of issues related to the current condition of being black in America via a letter to his son. He will without a doubt take Dyson and West's place as the voice in black intellectualism. A brilliant read.
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Format: Hardcover
I felt moved early on, despite some reservations about Coates's rhetorical use of "the body" in place of "you" (They hate your body, they want to destroy your body, etc.), and I appreciated the clean, precise writing. What begins to nag though, is the tone. Coates speaks from on high, like a preacher. He can't stop himself from going for the emotional punch, so there's a tinge of condescension, maybe even dishonesty. The power of the writing would be diminished if Coates dispensed with the easy Us vs Them schema that underpins the book.

An important book absolutely, a great contribution to an urgent discussion, a stirring call to action, a powerful portrait of what it is to be black in America. It does not, however, provide broad, multi-layered, philosophical insight into the complexities of being human in a diverse society.
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