Between the World and Me

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  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
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Score: 4.5 0 5
1,158 Ratings

Between the World and Me Book Summary

#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

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)

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

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

“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.”—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.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker

“Brilliant . . . a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers.”The Washington Post

“An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir.”The Boston Globe

“[Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America.”Los Angeles Times

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

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Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates Reviews

  • Angry man ranting....

    By Ayayrun
    This book is full of hate and racism. This author is not inspiring in his story as he only becomes more and more cynical as he ages. This book promotes fear and hate and it's disgusting how many people think this book should be required for a correct understand of America today.... it's not. One angry atheist man inspiring other people to fear the social movements of America
  • Between the World and Me

    By FlyingFish22
    A book, unlike any other I have read, and that will stay with me forever.
  • Between the world and me

    By Hattirat
    Between the world, the small part I skimmed, is poorly written by an un intelligent self absorbed fool
  • Every word of this book is wisdom

    By Scoop881
    This book is page after page of wisdom and insight into the Black Male Narrative. Great read, written with passion and artistic flourish but not too difficult to comprehend. A must-read for all, especially those who do not have the same experience.
  • So great!!

    Read it in 2 days! I couldn't put it down at all! There will be times you will want to cry because if the truthfulness in his words. After I finished it, the only thing I could say was "wow".
  • Angry

    By AMS, florida
    I did not grow up in the hood but I shared the classroom with plenty of black brothers. I'm sorry that I can not fully appreciate the writer's perspective as he continues to view himself as a victim. If dreaming means getting a good education in order to secure a good future, it shouldn't represent a betrayal to your roots. If you continue to wear the chains or your ancestors you will never be free. A tough read that left me feeling angry.
  • Facing the truth

    By Judd Mitchell
    This should be read by every adult American. The truth must be told and faced.
  • Well written. Great read. Opinion.

    By DrIndrajith
    Coates is a masterful writer, there's no doubt about that and it goes without saying that the black diaspora have been persecuted for centuries and that remnants of slavery and racism are still very much alive in the US. However, I wasn't sure about how the Prince Jones story tied into his overall depictions of racism in the US; Jones was shot by a black police officer and his story (which took up a significant portion of the book) had no relation to Treyvon Martin, Jordan Davis or the The Black Lives Matter movement in any way. This is simply one man's opinionated exploration to discover the roots of racism in America but in my opinion, it falls short of a thorough explanation and a solution to the issue.
  • Fantastic memoir.

    By Tommy#25
  • Not a Black man but a poor man… completly speaks to me

    By barberin0o
    this book is about a fathers advice on what the world is really like for people like him and how he should always now that his body is can be taken away from him at anytime. Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the word “ body” to discribe ones freedoms in this counrty and how easy it is to have it stripped from you at any moment wether it be by force to the death or incarsiration … it doesnt take a black american to understand this way of life but a life of many young men who have grown up on the mean streets of major citys through out the counrty to see how unfair the legal system is and what opsticals we face to stay out of trouble and not be out into the stytem for the rest of our lives !!! good book i would give this to my son even though i am not black …

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