Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir, the "Atlantic" writer explains...


Details Between the World and Me

TitleBetween the World and Me
ISBN9780812993547
Author
Release DateJul 14th, 2015
PublisherSpiegel & Grau
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages152 pages
GenreNonfiction, Race, Autobiography, Memoir, Social Movements, Social Justice, Biography Memoir, Adult, Audiobook, Writing, Essays, Sociology, Biography
Rating

Reviews Between the World and Me

  • Rick Riordan
    2015-08-24
    I'm not sure what compelled me to pick up this book, but that's true of many books I read. I simply felt like it was something I needed to read at that moment, and I'm very glad I did.Between the World and Me is written as a letter/essay from Coates to his fifteen-year-old son, trying to come to terms with what it means to grow up as an African American male in 2015. I almost said "make sense of what it means," but Coates' story is not so much ab...
  • J Beckett
    2015-07-26
    Less than an hour ago (on 7/26/2015) I finished reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me. As I read the last sentence, “Through the windshield I saw the rain coming down in sheets,” I was involuntarily overcome with inexplicable, yet wholly warranted emotion. Oddly, tears, my tears, tears perhaps I had been locking inside my fatherly bravado for a couple decades, came down in their own sheets, as thoughts of my child, my dau...
  • Bill Kerwin
    2015-07-29
    Sometime early in my reading of this book, I felt in my gut I had encountered a classic. Not a best-seller—this book is already that—but a classic. I envisioned stack upon paperback stack piled on metal shelves in university bookstores, shelves labeled Black Studies 301 but also Basic Comp 100. I could see pirated copies of large portions of Part One passed out to high school juniors and seniors, to be carefully annotated in AP Language and A...
  • Joshunda Sanders
    2015-08-08
    I'll get all of my disclaimers out of the way first. I am a fan of TNC but I also resent what he symbolizes. He is a great writer in his own right and he has the kind of co-signers in publishing and journalism that have offered him a platform that he has rightfully and eloquently expanded upon, utilized and maximized appropriately and used to catapult himself into the American race dialogue as one of the most prolific writers on race during our g...
  • Rob Slaven
    2015-06-14
    I received this book free for review from ShelfAwareness in exchange for an honest review. Despite the privilege of receiving a free book, I’m absolutely candid about it below because I believe authors and readers will benefit most from honest reviews rather than vacuous 5-star reviews.Written in the form of a letter from a father to a son, "Between the World and Me" is a detailed crystallization of the state of racism in our country today and ...
  • Rowena
    2015-10-06
    "But all our phrasing- race relations, racial chasms, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy- serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth." - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me A couple of days ago I posted on Twitter a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme entitled "Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Sha...
  • Jessica
    2015-07-28
    I thought it was a little fishy that all the reviews on here are these reverent whispery multi-starred nods of agreement about how important this book is. I mean, that just never happens, especially with the "it" book of the moment : there are always naysayers and contrarians and people who just don't get what the BFD is. Since there's a copy lying around my house, I thought I'd check it out -- the season's "it" book is rarely just 152 pages and ...
  • Brina
    2016-07-25
    Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me is an essay to his teenaged son. Toni Morrison on the cover maintains that this should be required reading. In this short yet powerful message, Coates delivers a rap on race and offers hope to African Americans in their struggle to maintain their culture. Coates is a respected journalist and essayist and here writes a lyrical prose that had me captivated from the first pages. His message is simple- Afric...
  • Petra Eggs
    2016-02-08
    Freedom, opportunity and education are all part of being equal citizens in the first world. But these are things of the mind. If you can't even keep the body safe, then what use are intellectual pursuits and a law guaranteeing you rights? And in seems in America that Black people find it very hard to keep their bodies safe.Who goes to prison more for drugs? Black people, although White people commit more drug offences being as they form the bulk ...
  • Michael Spikes
    2015-07-19
    Folks that love Mr. Coates will love this book, as they'll be able to follow him through a piece that is somewhat indulgent -- but he certainly won't win new fans or quell his skeptics (like myself) with this piece of work. Coates says that he wanted to write like Baldwin, but it just comes across as a unfocused, stream of consciousness. As a black man who constantly battles with the work of Mr. Coates, I wanted to give this one a chance, as many...
  • s.penkevich
    2016-03-03
    An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future.The moment I really fell for Ta-Nehisi Coates was during his interview on the Diane Rehm’s show after he was asked his opinions on gun control. The question came after a statement by him about the safety of his son living in Paris as opposed to the United States with regard to the rampant gun violence in the US. Gu...
  • Jennifer Masterson
    2015-09-08
    This is an extremely important book that should be read. I am late to the party so there is not much for me to say that others haven't.I listened to the audio version of this book. The one thing I will say is that I had to start and stop the audio so many times that I found myself frustrated. I think that I will listen to it again when I am alone with nothing to distract me. For now I'm giving it 4 Stars. It is only a little over 3 hours long and...
  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2016-10-24
    4.5/5 stars!I listened to the audiobook for this, which was superb, I love that the author narrated it. I do think that I would really benefit from re-reading this physically, as at some points I got lost and not everything stuck in my mind. I want to have the chance to take it slow, savour the incredible writing and really feel the power of his words.
  • Diane
    2015-07-15
    Reading this book was like being punched in the gut. But it's a blow I hope more people can take because this book needs to be read.Structured as a letter to his teenage son, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about what it means to be a black man in America. His writing is eloquent and powerful, beautiful and heartbreaking, strident and yet bleak. When I first started reading, I thought I would finish it in one day because the book isn't very long. But it ...
  • Roxane
    2015-07-22
    Hmm. A lot to think about here. Stay tuned.
  • Lexi
    2015-06-25
    Holy shit this book. I broke down into tears on the subway upon finishing the last page. As a very privileged white woman I don't feel like I have much right to talk about this book but I hope when it comes out everyone else talks about it because it is beautiful and devastating and has the potential to be so important.
  • Pascal
    2015-09-03
    I've read Coates work in the Atlantic for years now and my fundamental impression of him is unchanged. His limited Black liberal anti-racist appeals to White guilt illustrate his total inability to escape the narrow racial essentialist vision of Black identity. Coates in his book reduces America to basically two categories: The Dreamers, (White Americans) and the rest being Black folk. This thinking demonstrates such a pedestrian understanding of...
  • J.L. Sutton
    2016-05-30
    I was both very impressed and frustrated with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Written as a letter to his son, Coates presents racism and white privilege as a visceral experience, with much discussion, especially early in the book about what it means to lose your (black) body. I’m not going to explain what Coates means by losing your body; you should read how he frames this in the context of both American history and his own experi...
  • Diane S ☔
    2015-07-16
    I honestly do not feel right putting a rating on this man's experiences, heartfelt thoughts and wishes for his son. I grew up in Chicago and I have seen more than my fair share of the racial divide. Yet, I have never before read an eye opening book like this one. I am not going to express my views on what I think of what he wrote, my opinions have no place here. This is his viewpoint, shared by many of the black race and that is what I found asto...
  • Iris P
    2015-06-28
    Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates- The Author "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous", Frederick Douglas- Writer/American Abolitionist "One cannot, at once, claim to be superhuman and then plead mortal error. I propose to take our countrymen’s claims of American exceptionalism seriously, which is to say I propose subjecting our country to an exceptional moral standard". Ta-Nehisi Coates...
  • Darwin8u
    2015-07-16
    “I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and MeAwaken Fellow Dreamers. Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a book that runs the distance from the black body (with all its wounds and fears) and the stars (with its ability to be a conscious citizen of the world). It travels from the mountain peaks of the dreamers, whose moun...
  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
    2016-11-15
    “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.” Earlier this year I read several blog posts complaining about the 'plague' of important books, and the annoyance people felt when reviewers told them that a specific book was important*. As if awareness was some awful disease we should avoid at all cost. Well. I don't agree with this. I don't buy in the "e...
  • Elyse
    2015-08-18
    A Letter To A Teenage Son A Letter To Me A Letter To You"Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains---whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains"."To be black and beautiful was not a matter for gloating. Being black did not immunize us from history's logic or the lure of the Dream. The writer, and that was what I was becoming, must be wary of every Dream and every nation, even his own nati...
  • Nicole~
    2015-11-20
    Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates unleashes a heated analysis of the profile of the African-American in our times, in his new book Between the World And Me. Written in epistolary form to his teenage son, Samori, he contemplates his personal experiences born and bred in a color-discriminate society, and grapples with how best to encourage him while attacks of whites on the 'black body' (as he puts it) go unpunished - while the Trayvon Martins...
  • Julie
    2015-07-23
    I write this review with very conflicted feelings. I started to say that I acknowledge this book was not written for me, it was written as a letter from a father to a son. From one man to another, almost-man. From a black American to another. But then I realized that of course, it is for me, because it is out there, in the world, in libraries, bookstores, written by a journalist-writer-poet who has just received a MacArthur "Genius" grant, who is...
  • Esil
    2015-07-05
    Thank you, Mr. Coates, for letting me listen in on your letter to your son. My reality is very different from your son's reality, but I do try to understand the world I live in. By sharing your lyrical insights, you helped me see, you moved me, you angered me, you made me feel at times big and at times small, you made me feel exasperated, you puzzled me, you spoke to me, you lost me, you made me nod and smile for example when you wrote of your lo...
  • Ameriie
    2015-08-11
    Penetrating. For some a revelation, for others an affirmation of something we've always known and felt. A must-read.
  • Natalie
    2016-10-23
    “My work is to give you what I know of my own particular path while allowing you to walk your own.”In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives.I listened to this as an audiobook and I cannot imagine having read listened it any differently. The writer's words left a profound mark on me.And I feel as...
  • Debbie
    2015-10-27
    This is a letter from an African American father to his son. It's rare that I read something this powerful. Coates is an amazing writer who offers new ideas and much food for thought. It begins with "Son, Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body." Or, how about this, "But all our phrasing - race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy - serves to ob...
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    2017-01-23
    This should be required reading in the United States of America, just as Talking To My Country should be required reading here in Australia, especially during this dark and uncertain time. “But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair...