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Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Between the world and me (edition 2015)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0881901,834 (4.36)324
Member:SuziQoregon
Title:Between the world and me
Authors:Ta-Nehisi Coates
Info:New York, New York : Random House Audio : Books on Tape, [2015]
Collections:Read, Library, Audio, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2018

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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» See also 324 mentions

English (186)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All (190)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
Ta-Nehisi Coates is angry.

But anger fuels understanding and rare teaching moments. Here, in Between the World and Me, Coates is writing to his son, holding him accountable for learning his history, helping him to navigate a world still making fatal decisions based on race: a world threatening the African-American body.

Between the World and Me is essential reading. ( )
  JaredOrlando | May 21, 2018 |
Extremely good. I balk at the comparisons to Baldwin because there is only one James Baldwin, but I think both he and Malcolm would have loved this book. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
The conversation an African American man has to have with his son to help him understand what he will likely face in the world should be read by everyone. This is a very important book and wonderfully told by Ta-Nehisi Coats. ( )
  jltodd | Apr 27, 2018 |
This is one very special book. Ostensibly, a sort of "letter" from the black American author to his son, this is -- well, this is so much more -- it's easy to lose track of its foundation. Very early on, in reading it, there was so much drive and speed to its narrative, I was very much reminded of poetry slams. And there is a great deal of poetry in the prose phrasing. The words and their meaning pelt the reader like hail. Whether, the presentation changes or I just dressed better for the weather, I was eventually better able to go with the flow. Having read a great deal already -- as a white man -- about the black experience, the book did not "inform" me of very much new. What it did do is let me "feel" the experience a bit more vividly and intimately than before, while knowing full well that a white person in America can never quite reach that "in the marrow" embodiment of being cast permanently into another life. I know I'm floundering with this review. It's partly why I downgraded my rating a notch. The book needs to be read more than once, perhaps many times. And I'm not at all sure I'm up to the task of absorbing it fully even when I do read it again, so it may never have the full impact on me that it would have on another more in line with the author's experiences. I will end by adding two points: (1) the book has been compared often to James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. Other than a couple obvious similarities, this book is really nothing like that book. Not apples to oranges. Apples to potatoes. (2) Much has been made of the author's lack of deity belief. Even the author brings it up from time to time, but more as though he's wondering out loud if what he is saying would be very different if he was "devout" in a religion. I personally did not see what he had to say affected one way or another by his religious stance, or lack there of. My apologies for this train wreck of a review. Please chalk it up to a bit of post-traumatic literary experience. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
3 3/4 stars, so I bumped it up to a 4.

I loved that it was so emotional, even though the emotion was pain and anger. I could empathize with that, and indeed I had many times while reading this. Which is high praise--I don't access my emotions easily, myself. As part of the validation of his body, I believe his emotions should be felt and expressed. It's a fantastic letter to his son. It's a great poetic essay. I don't think it's done what I prefer a book to do, which is to have impeccable, rigorous logic and to be presented as dry as possible. But to be fair this isn't presented as that sort of book, either. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
For David and Kenyatta,

who believed
First words
Son,

Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body.
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(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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