Between the World and Me

Hardcover, 152 pages

English language

Published Sept. 11, 2015 by Spiegel & Grau.

ISBN:
9780812993547
OCLC Number:
923007023

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (31 reviews)

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 …

12 editions

Review of 'Between the World and Me' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Just to be clear - I am a white, middle aged (plus...) upper middle class heterosexual male with stable childhood and great family. I am, as John Scalzi wrote in his brilliant blog post, playing the game of life on The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. My single interaction with the police was a weird one when a crazy person tried to attack my car with a baseball bat - I'll be glad to tell you that story over a beer some day. But it was more humorous than dangerous. We have a cop living in our neighborhood and, while my daughters played with his daughters, we didn't have much to do with each other, but it was nice to have the feeling our neighborhood got a little more coverage than the normal one.

All of that is to say that I just can't imagine what life as a …

Review of 'Between the World and Me' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This book is a chronicle of the mental and emotional changes of a sensitive man living in a black body in America. It's at times poetic and honest about deep emotion, and though most of the time he's addressing his son, the author speaks to the silent observer who takes their white body for granted in the luxury of ignorance. He never uses the term "white privilege," and he's less accusing than James Baldwin, but he welcomes the reader into his head and to see with his eyes.

"I wanted you to see different people living by different rules."

Coates has a complicated relationship with the place that he grew up. He complains that he was in a fight for survival, keeping his body safe, and putting him at the very bottom rung of Maslowe's hierarchy of needs. However, he justifies the very system of violence that he abhors, he …

Review of 'Between the World and Me' on Goodreads

5 stars

A letter to a teenage son, of the father's lived experience of growing up to recognize the complex ways that black bodies are valued less to not at all in a world of and for "people who believe they are white". Personal, compelling, and short, definitely reminiscent of Baldwin but more focused on the pain of black loss than the need for white disavowal of our ongoing racist privilege, though that too is in this book's message.

Audiobook read by the author.

Review of 'Between the World and Me' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Framed as a letter to his son, it often felt like I was reading it surreptitiously. Ostensibly, it wasn't written for me, but I think actually, it was, and the feeling of being an outsider was intended.

Although his experiences growing up were not mine, they were also not foreign to me. I was never a Dreamer, his term for one sleepwalking through life enraptured by a belief in the American Dream. I had the privilege of believing myself White (a turn of phrase I believe he borrows from James Baldwin) but I was small and bullied both at home and in school, brought up by a family who thought they were different (that is to say, better) than their neighbors. I went through life fearful of my body being destroyed, though with a lot less reason to feel that way than he did.

Still, psychology being the way it …

Review of 'Between the World and Me' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I wouldn't say I'm old, really, but I've been around long enough to have developed a pretty mature world view, to have become less intellectually malleable than I'd like to be. So I appreciate this book more than any I've read in years for its having shaken my brain a bit, dislodging some of my cobwebs. The facts and myths of race and racism had gone almost wholly unexamined in my life. These had seemed issues not particularly relevant to me, as though I were not the beneficiary of a society biased in my favor. Now I have much more thinking to do.

avatar for ben

rated it

5 stars
avatar for cincodenada@bookwyrm.cincodenada.com
Ell

rated it

5 stars
avatar for sunstone

rated it

5 stars
avatar for haagen_daz

rated it

4 stars
avatar for katinalynn

rated it

5 stars
avatar for marcuslowx

rated it

3 stars
avatar for alisonboden

rated it

4 stars
avatar for dstokes

rated it

5 stars
avatar for herin

rated it

5 stars
avatar for FeloDeSe

rated it

5 stars
avatar for maxbittker

rated it

5 stars
avatar for luxon

rated it

4 stars
avatar for luddite

rated it

4 stars
avatar for fosk

rated it

5 stars
avatar for fosk

rated it

5 stars
avatar for hughrawlinson

rated it

5 stars
avatar for damefolledechat

rated it

5 stars
avatar for witchyflickchick

rated it

4 stars
avatar for balex

rated it

5 stars
avatar for bpepple

rated it

4 stars
avatar for ngs
ngs

rated it

5 stars
avatar for drb
drb

rated it

5 stars