Between the World and Me Book Reviews

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Book Summary

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 PASTE’S 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.

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Book Name Between the World and Me
Genre Biographies & Memoirs
Language English
E-Book Size 4.23 MB

Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates) Book Reviews 2023

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A beautifully.... written coming of age story and tribute to — among other things — the majesty of the Howard University experience for young black men and women.

Enjoyed Immensely. Beautiful book!

Angry man ranting..... 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

Incredible. Incredible book. A MUST READ for all in the community.

Eye opening. Earth shatteringly moving. A must read for anyone living under the oppression of The Dream

Outstanding. I had to read this book for a political seminar in university, and I could not have been more glad that this book was in our reading list. The prose has a rhythmic beat and reads almost like a lyrical song. The words are carefully crafted so that some are like swords which stab through our rose tainted lenses and others are like a ship’s anvil that carry our emotions to the bottomless pit of the sea. Very impressive writing and even more insightful portrait of America’s state of race relations. Highly recommended for anyone with interest in American society.

Honesty is Our Only Hope. 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. Great book

Facing the truth. This should be read by every adult American. The truth must be told and faced.

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".

Superficial. Despite the immature form, I expected the content to become fully detailed and it did not. It read to me like a college paper, certainly not worthy of the media praise and attention it has drawn. I believe the book to be one mans opinion without many examples to back it up.

Uninspiring. 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. 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!

Must read. Must read. Will recommend this to any African American young adult

Phenomenal read. So raw, full of details and vulnerability! Thank you for writing this!

Sit with how it makes you feel. 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.

Powerful. Must read.

Every word of this book is wisdom. 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.

I may be a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one.. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a powerful writer, who has managed to bring to light the idea that there is no race, only people. I still remain a Dreamer, but this book has helped me come closer to consciousness. Through the telling of his life story, and that of Prince Jones, he compels us to wake up and smell the injustice, as it were, that remains fully in place today. Maybe not in bodies being owned as in slavery, but owned and looked upon as less-than by the Dreamers. Voices like this come along so rarely today. I pray that his voice continues to resonate throughout the land. Keep writing. Keep thinking. My work is clearer, now. Attempting to awaken from the Dream, before it is too late for the people of this planet. Thank you for writing this book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This is a book that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Between the world and me. Between the world, the small part I skimmed, is poorly written by an un intelligent self absorbed fool

To all Who Think They are White. Between the World and Me is a love letter from a father to a son that could only be written by an African American man who experienced the injustices of growing up as a person of color. I hope and trust that we all love our children. But for an African American man to know what his son will face simply because of the color of his skin and to be unable to do anything other than "explain that reality" is truly devastating. This book should be required reading in our school systems. All of us who deplore racism, but who do not do enough, and none of us do, to fight against the day to day reality of the bigotry in our society will read this and feel embarrassed by our failing, at least for a moment.

Black life. These pages contain a wonderfully written testimonial to the insecurities and fears of many people of color that manifests itself in behaviors that we commonly classify as "black". There was nothing I disagreed with. If anything the book left me grappling with a feeling of helplessness as I too try to figure how I am going to protect my two boys from the sacrifice of their black bodies.

Speechless. This is good. Top draw. Just amazing.

Yes you. Yes you please call

Not a Black man but a poor man… completly speaks to me. 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 …

Angry. 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.

Read with your Black sons and daughters. Great read for anyone looking to explore the subconscious and overt realities of being Black in America!!!

Beautifully written. Highly recommended. It is said that you must work to stay conscious, reading this book is one step you can take! I could read this over & over.

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

Best book I’ve ever read. Had my anti-racist book club read it and all of them absolutely loved this book. As do I.

Needed this. Absolutely beautiful

One long diatribe. 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?

Moving yet easy to read. what an incredible book for me, a rich white young male from an affluent part of Philadelphia, to read. I have seen the struggle and the ghettos and been inside of them, but this book put me inside those shoes. Absolute must read

Well written. Great read. Opinion.. 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.

Captivating, this book. I read this book in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the protests that have erupted - at last - with this straw of racial injustice that has broken the back of our society. Mr. Coates’s writing illuminates many concepts, including living in fear of having his body taken (being killed), and the cost of the American Dream, built on the backs of oppression and death (from slaves building the Capitol and National Mall to modern day killing of innocent African Americans by police and a collective forgetting that happens after the tragic events). This is an extremely important book, published in 2015 and so relevant today. Reading and meditating on this book may help us open our eyes to the cost of the Dream, and consideration of a better future and present.

Opinionated Fantasies. 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.

Between the World and Me. A book, unlike any other I have read, and that will stay with me forever.

Interesting read. Decent insights from a good perspective

Amazing. Amazing book

4/5. Such an eye-opener! Definitely a must read.

Powerful Message. 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.

Between the World and Me. Coates draws a stark and moving portrait of the damage the dream of whiteness does directly to black bodies, the earth, and, therefore, to the dreamers. It hurts to acknowledge the status that privilege has bestowed on me and to know there is so little I can do to wake my fellow dreamers. A must read for all who care about justice and particularly for those who don’t.

An eye opening experience. The way he casts his journey like a long hike with twists and turns then a strong slap in the face! With passion and reckoning, i couldn’t put it down.

Words do not suffice. The soul of a father, laid bare. Please read this book.

Fantastic memoir.. .

"Between the World and Me". A 'stream of consciousness' that rushes onto each page as testimony of a black author growing up in the inner-city, USA. I found the pace and reality experience of this Author to be an honest, angry, fearful, and ultimately a cleansing life-driven search for the very integrity of black lives in America; the quest for "the dream" and ultimately, abandoning the persuasion of the "dream" as false motivation whereas the journey of our lives unfolds with whatever quests & questions we choose to pursue. I highly recommend this Author for a gripping and well articulated pursuit of questions wrapped in Black-skin pigmentation, the sole difference among all humans who inhabit planet Earth.

HHonorshk. Li right hv)

Eye opening!. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. Even now I feel robbed that it’s over. So much power in the words of and from a black man to his son. BRAVO!

Mind Altering. The most in depth and powerful short book you will ever read.

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Awful. A rant about racial issues which is much too long and pointless.

Excellent. Every theme moved me. Every description drew a bright clear image in my mind. I loved it.

Great read. A great insight at what it means to be a black man in America.

Between the World and Me. I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down, Ta Nehisi Coates is not only a brilliant and in depth writer, but his extensive knowledge and thinking is beautiful and raw. I recommend this book to everybody. Coates writing depicts the terror of racism in the U.S. In such a personal way that empathizing with him isn't possible. This book is a must read.

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Summary of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Between the World and Me book written by Ta-Nehisi Coates was published on 14 July 2015, Tuesday in the Biographies & Memoirs category. A total of 3,001 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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