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Between the World and Me
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Between the World and Me Hardcover - 2015

by Ta-Nehisi Coates


About this book

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.

Summary

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 (from publishers website).

From the publisher

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE - PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST - NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST - ONE OF OPRAH'S "BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH" - NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT

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.

Details

  • Title Between the World and Me
  • Author Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Edition [ Edition: First
  • Pages 176
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher One World, New York, NY
  • Date 2015-07-14
  • Illustrated Yes
  • Features Illustrated
  • ISBN 9780812993547 / 0812993543
  • Weight 0.55 lbs (0.25 kg)
  • Dimensions 7.3 x 5.1 x 0.9 in (18.54 x 12.95 x 2.29 cm)
  • Reading level 1090
  • Themes
    • Chronological Period: 1851-1899
    • Ethnic Orientation: African American
    • Topical: Civil War
  • Library of Congress subjects United States - Race relations, Race discrimination - United States
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2015008120
  • Dewey Decimal Code B

Media reviews

Citations

  • Booklist, 08/01/2015, Page 7
  • Booklist Ed Choice Adu Bk YA's, 01/01/2016, Page 11
  • Booklist Editors Choice/Adult, 01/01/2016, Page 8
  • Christian Century, 09/30/2015, Page 37
  • Ebony, 09/01/2015, Page 33
  • Entertainment Weekly, 12/18/2015, Page 99
  • Essence, 12/01/2015, Page 64
  • Kirkus Best Nonfiction, 12/01/2015, Page 12
  • Kirkus Reviews, 07/01/2015, Page 0
  • Library Journal, 05/15/2015, Page 0
  • Library Journal Prepub Alert, 05/15/2015, Page 56
  • New York Review of Books, 02/11/2016, Page 28
  • New York Times Book Review, 12/13/2015, Page 12
  • NY Times Notable Bks of Year, 12/06/2015, Page 27
  • People Weekly, 12/21/2015, Page 58
  • Publishers Weekly, 07/06/2015, Page 0
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books, 11/02/2015, Page 25
  • School Library Journal, 02/01/2016, Page 110
  • Shelf Awareness, 12/11/2015, Page 0

About the author

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His book Between the World and Me won the National Book Award in 2015. Coates is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
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