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Between The World And Me Paperback – 24 Sep 2015
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"Between the World and Me is brilliantly structured, insightful and forcefully argued. He navigates the complexities and burdens of race in America compassed by a father's love for his son. But it s the soulful writing that makes the work a classic, prompting Toni Morrison to herald Coates as America's new James Baldwin and the MacArthur Foundation to announce his genius." --TIME's 100 Most Influential People
"I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates' journey, is visceral, eloquent and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading." --Toni Morrison
"Obama's statement also made me think of Between the World and Me, an extraordinary forthcoming book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in which he writes an impassioned letter to his teen-age son a letter both loving and full of a parent's dread counseling him on the history of American violence against the black body, the young African-American's extreme vulnerability to wrongful arrest, police violence, and disproportionate incarceration." --David Remnick in The New Yorker
"Immense, multifaceted... This is a poet's book, revealing the sensibility of a writer to whom words - exact words - matter... 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." --Publishers Weekly
"The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Coates offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son's life... this moving, potent testament might have been titled Black Lives Matter." --Kirkus, starred review
"Ta-Nehisi Coates is the James Baldwin of our era, and this is his cri de coeur. A brilliant thinker at the top of his powers, he has distilled 400 years of history and his own anguish and wisdom into a prayer for his beloved son and an invocation to the conscience of his country. An instant classic and a gift to us all." --Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns
"I just finished an advance copy of Between the World and Me, a look at the racial history of our country by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It's really powerful and emotional." --John Legend in The Wall Street Journal
"Heartbreaking, confronting, it draws power from understatement in dealing with race in America and the endless wrong-headed concept that whites are somehow entitled to subjugate everyone else." - Capital
"In our current global landscape it's an essential perspective, regardless of your standpoint. " - Paperboy
"After all, Between the World and Me is an exhortation against blindness. Coates wants to push us to see the delusions we've been feeding ourselves and insist we struggle through the Dream, that false narrative of America's history, by reckoning with its ugliness. I use the word 'reckoning' carefully; I admired how Coates refrains from outright condemnations of the American experiment, wanting to wrestle with it rather than destroy it. Throughout he resists the urge to tie up these ugly complexities with anything pat, delivering a perspective, in many ways, that you could call post-cynical." --The Guardian
"One of the truest works I have read in a while: honest, arresting, and challenging throughout, its argument, on behalf of black struggle in a system with no incentive to change, feels not new but refreshingly old, something that had been submerged under distractions and niceties for too long." --Alexis Okeowo's Books We Loved in 2015 in the New Yorker
"An intimate, wise look at a problem that's finally getting nationwide attention. " --Flavorwire's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015
"Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me is the one book you should read if you only read one book in the next couple months... Coates will leave you gasping with awe at the beauty of his language, even as you digest the bleakness of his message." --GQ's favourite books of 2015
"Forget, for a moment, the ubiquitous comparisons to James Baldwin: Though fitting in many ways, they can distract us from how original Coates's book truly is." --The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2015
"This work, which won the National Book Award in nonfiction, is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers when national events most conform to his vision." --The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2015
"Between the World and Me is one of the most powerful and poignant pieces of literature that I have read this year" --Socialist Review
"Coates combines an unapologetically defiant voice with a poetic sensibility to poignant effect." --The Independent
"Brutal and lyrical, elegant and searing." --Financial Times
"Between the World and Me is both a meditation on life in a country that weaponizes black skin and a rigorous examination of what Coates calls the Dream - the pernicious American concept of whiteness, fuelled since the days of the Middle Passage by the destruction of black bodies... a brilliant primer on the experience of black maleness in America and the man-made structures that shape it." --The Globe and Mail
From the Inside Flap
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. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Hardcover.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates does an excellent job of explaining what it is to grow up in America without that privilege. In clear prose he tells the story of his life. He clearly lays out how living in America as a black man means living under the threat of having your body broken.
Part of what makes this book so compelling is that Coates is writing to his son. Imagining having to have a similar conversation with my son is heartbreaking. I've read again and again about these conversations, but Coates manages to make it real in a way that I haven't experienced before.
Coates talks time and again about using writing as a way of interrogating himself and the world around him, of asking questions and exploring possible answers. What shows through more than anything in this book is a relentless search for the answers.
As a result, this book is more open than many essays. Coates shies away from the easy Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis model. Instead the book is a series of questions. These questions lead to books, conversations, events. These provide some answers, but also open the door to yet more questions.
There are no definitive conclusions here, which is fitting for a book that is written from a father to his son. The book is an invitation to keep searching for the answers, to keep working to find a way to a world in which no one has to live in fear of their body being stolen, broken and destroyed.
The book gives us Coates’ honest thoughts on many important issues – on race, racism, poverty, deprivation, privilege and its abuse, police brutality. He documents his own personal experiences. He tells us of the experience of his friends and family. We see detail and pain and suffering.
Above all, Coates is a student of life (he was taught to inspect reality and find his own truths by his mother). He is an observer and someone who wishes to plunge the depths. He has insights. He has worked hard to understand how he feels as a black man in a black skin.
He wishes that more progress had been made so that the advice he could give to his son would be more positive - that the issues he struggled with growing up would be less present today. That is not the case. There is little light on the horizon, not none at all, just very little. There has been very little progress since the days of slavery.
Coates explains the pervasive fear he has always experienced for his own body – that at any moment his life could be taken on the streets. When his son was born he felt the same terror for his own child.
He discovered the beauty of black heritage, so absent in the media and schools. This was a discovery he made at Howard University, where the diverse black fraternity was alive with debate and dynamism and talent.
He became a reporter and said, “…the softness that once made me a target now compelled people to trust me with their stories…”. I liked that line a lot.
He tells us “…for 250 years black people were born into chains…”
“…transfigured our very bodies into sugar, tobacco, cotton, and gold” – the founding wealth of America
“…the truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear….”
I resonated with much of what Coates had to say. It’s a timely piece, sobering and brutally honest.
Coates himself says that he has struggled with expressing love and softness to his son (my words) because he has been too terrorized by his own inability to secure the safety of his son on the streets, such that, every moment of life, he is fearful of loss and tragedy. This was the powerful lesson I took away from this book. The flip side, in terms of the writing, is that I had expected more warmth and a more personal nature to the letters. As I was reading, I rather felt that the author was speaking directly to the reader. This was not negative, in fact it was powerful, but it was not the expectation raised by the book blurb.
In terms of presentation, I have to say that I think the publisher would have been better to split the three letters into smaller sections, to give the reader time to breathe. Do not let this put you off!
As I said, a timely piece, sobering and brutally honest
I have admired Coates writing since reading him in the Atlantic. He writes with beauty, poetically getting to the heart of matters with originality and insight. He does not unearth facts but makes his telling points with anecdotes and observations. This makes it more, rather than less, effective. He does not argue with the reader but confronts him with an unarguable emotional case that rings true.
And Coates is mad, and justifiably so. He rubs our noses in racism and holds our heads down until we can't stand it. I doubt that anyone who reads this book will ever feel the same about race, and for this we have the brilliant Coates to thank.
A worthy winner of the National Book Award
A must read for all those interested in current events regarding race politics and the history of races and of both 'blackess' and 'whiteness'. this is an incredible book by Ta-Nehisi Coates which is an incredible book written to his children regarding the reality of race as seen by Coates.
the book delves into the reality of differing situations from police brutality and how Coates grew up.
the book really is an incredible read.
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