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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,6762272,114 (4.37)352

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» See also 352 mentions

English (223)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 223 (next | show all)
I'll be wrestling with and re-reading this book for a long, long time. This is one of the most eloquent, searing, illuminating pieces I've ever read, and I'm grateful for the challenge. ( )
  liannecollins | Apr 18, 2019 |
The entire book is quotable. Heavy, pithy, and full of emotion. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
Written in the form of a letter to his teenage son, Coates describes in blunt and honest terms what it is like to grow up black in the United States. Everyone seems to love this book, and I wanted to love it too. But while it was distressing and eye-opening, I had a fair amount of difficulty with Coates' writing style, which unfortunately detracted from my overall impression. The meandering, abstract thought, combined with no chapter breaks, was a challenge for this left-brained reader. ( )
  ryner | Apr 8, 2019 |
Coates writes this work as a letter to his son. An autobiographical account of his upbringing. But also an indictment of the education system. He looks to his college library, referred to as Mecca, to find a narrative of black history and literature that wasn’t taught. “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?” he ponders what Saul Bellow has once famously asked. His job is to contextualize. Coates is honest.

Phenomenology of a black man’s body.

Semiotics of street culture.

These are some possible subtitles of this memoir.

As a white man, I will fail if I read this and it not stimulates my interest in other black writers that are illuminated in this work. I am curious about the James Baldwin book he elevates “The Fire Next Time.” This book was recommended to me by my eldest brother. Coates' work with Black Panther also comes to me by way of comic culture through his highly lauded run authoring the Black Panther series. ( )
1 vote starlight17 | Mar 19, 2019 |
This is the book I've been looking for. I've longed for understanding, at least in some part, of what it means to be black in America. While I don't agree with Coates views on God, I am fascinated by his view of the world and how his belief in the body's all-importance (without an eternal soul) shapes the way he views every aspect of life. This was instructive and valuable for me to understand.

I think my largest takeaway from this book is how extremely dangerous it is to mix the American Dream with the Kingdom of God. America, from the beginning, has been guilty of this. How much evil has been committed by Americans who believe they are "chosen" or have divine right to do as they please? Or to twist Scripture to their ends?

I needed this book. It was no soft read--this hit right at the core of many opinions and beliefs I grew up around (especially in the Deep South). But it was a book I needed. Now I'm eager to learn more, read more, and understand more. And distance myself even more from the unbiblical, unfounded, dangerous belief that Americans are God's chosen people. ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 223 (next | show all)
Between the World and Me is, in important ways, a book written toward white Americans, and I say this as one them. White Americans may need to read this book more urgently and carefully than anyone, and their own sons and daughters need to read it as well. This is not to say this is a book about white people, but rather that it is a terrible mistake for anyone to assume that this is just a book about nonwhite people. In the broadest terms Between the World and Me is about the cautious, tortured, but finally optimistic belief that something beyond these categories persists. Implicit in this book’s existence is a conviction that people are fundamentally reachable, perhaps not all of them but enough, that recognition and empathy are within grasp, that words and language are capable of changing people, even if—especially if—those words are not ones people prefer to hear.
added by elenchus | editslate.com, Jack Hamilton (Jul 9, 2015)
In the scant space of barely 160 pages, Atlantic national correspondent Coates (The Beautiful Struggle) has composed an immense, multifaceted work. This is a poet's book, revealing the sensibility of a writer to whom words—exact words—matter....It's also a journalist's book, not only because it speaks so forcefully to issues of grave interest today, but because of its close attention to fact...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.
added by theaelizabet | editPublishers Weekly

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ta-Nehisi Coatesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cornets de Groot, Rutger H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cunningham, CarolineDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mollica, GregCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And one morning while in the woods I stumbled suddenly upon the thing,

Stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly oaks and elms

And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting themselves between the world and me...

—Richard Wright
For David and Kenyatta,

who believed
First words

Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings -- moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here"--… (more)

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