Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Audiobook CD - 2015
Average Rating:
58
8
1
 …
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York, New York : Random House Audio : Books on Tape, [2015]
Edition: Unabridged
Copyright Date: ℗2015
ISBN: 9780147520517
0147520517
9780451482211
0451482212
Characteristics: audio file,CD audio,rda
digital,optical,rda
3 audio discs (3 1/2 hr.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in

Opinion

From Library Staff

One reader says, "Ta Nehisi Coates' letter to his son is a devastatingly honest, beautifully written, and morally urgent description of what it means to live inside a black body in the 'American Dream.'"  Another reader writes, "Ta-Nehisi Coates' book is heartrending, raw, and gorg... Read More »

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.

Coates offers a 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... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

d
denilou2
Nov 03, 2017

Coates produced a classic. For all of you who heard about it, or even have it, and have not actually read it-- Now is the time. Read the book! We need the conversation, so do the homework!

e
EmilyEm
Oct 12, 2017

Coates ‘letter’ to his son about being a person of color in the US when the American Dream is seen by most who think of themselves as white through a different lens.

He says: “Perhaps that was, is, the hope of the movement: to awaken the Dreamers, to rouse them to the facts of what their need is to be white, to talk like they are white, to think like they are white, which is to think beyond the design flaws of humanity, has done to the world.’ Powerful.

v
voisjoe1_0
Sep 25, 2017

"Dreamers" in America are those who consider themselves to be of the "White Race," which, in their minds, makes them superior to all those who do not to appear to be of the "White Race." Actually, there is no scientific basic for the 17th century concept known as "Race," a concept developed by northern Europeans for the purpose of justifying their horrific plunder of the non-European world. Today many individuals cling to their "Dream" because this automatically prevents them from being at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Only when these "Dreamers" realize their "Dream" is an unscientific concept developed by their ancestors to justify their lives of plunder will "White Supremacy" disappear in America.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 20, 2017

Between the World and Me is an essay/letter written by Coates which is meant for his son. He writes about race relations in America and what it’s like growing up as an African American male. He doesn’t try to make any major points about race relations nor does he try to explain it. Rather, he just writes about his experience growing up and his concerns about his son’s future. Coates stated that racism was not something that could be eradicated, but was a part of American history and tradition. This a deeply personal book and is full of substance. It does not provide optimism that things will be better nor does it provide the answer to racism. It is simply a reflection of personal experiences and how he is concerned about his son’s future. I personally enjoyed this book because of how authentic it feels. I think this book is a 5/5 and is a must read for anyone.
- @SuperSilk of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Aug 22, 2017

I knew this book was being compared to the works of James Baldwin when I started reading it, and for me it didn’t come anywhere close. I’ve liked what I’ve read by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, but I didn’t feel the same about this book. The book is addressed to Coates’s son, Samori. It’s supposed to be reminiscent of James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew, but that brief letter feels like it was truly written for Baldwin’s nephew. In Between the World and Me the book never feels like it really is for Samori. It is aimed at us, the readers. There is no sense at all of who his son is as a person or their family. There is no intersectionality in the book, with Samori’s mother almost being a passing character.

rosstia5 Jul 06, 2017

This book is a very intimate portrait between an African American father and his son. The author explains his thoughts so eloquently and makes the reader feel like we are in Coates mind and world. The audiobook is especially great since he narrates his own experiences and adds a depth to whats being read. This is an excellent choice for readers who enjoy the human and internal battles of Racism in America.

b
becker
Jun 17, 2017

An incredibly dense book. Every sentence is heavy with thought and expression. It is very well written, progressive and is sure to stimulate some deep thinking. If you use audio books, this is an excellent one to listen to. The author narrates it and his voice adds impact. It is a powerful reading experience.

m
MelissaYAReader
Jun 08, 2017

In these letters to his son, the author tries to explain what it is like to be black in America. He talks about the existing racism and the divide between the races. He tries to emphasize the dangers his son will face--dangers a white person wouldn't even consider a danger. The book is open and honest. It looks at our history and where we are now. Very relevant to our times.

l
LaFilm
Jun 05, 2017

Timely, relevant and a must-read...

AL_LESLEY Apr 30, 2017

Beautifully written and heartfelt, this book is important modern social and racial commentary with eye opening revelations made so by the genuine and un-embellished honesty with which it was written.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“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, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

m
mucho_libro
Jan 14, 2017

I grew up in a house drawn between love and fear. There was no room for softness. But this girl with the long dreads revealed something else -- that love could be soft and understanding; that, soft or hard, love was an act of heroism.

b
blessedOne
Aug 26, 2016

"Never forget that we were enslaved in this country longer than we have been free. Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains - whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains."

s
starsabove
Jun 08, 2016

(This book opens with a quote from Richard Wright that contains the title of the book):

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.

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

"Once, the Dream’s parameters were caged by technology and by the limits of horsepower and wind. But the Dreamers have improved themselves, and the damming of seas for voltage, the extraction of coal, the transmuting of oil into food, have enabled an expansion in plunder with no known precedent. And this revolution has freed the Dreamers to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself. The Earth is not our creation. It has no respect for us. It has no use for us. And its vengeance is not the fire in the cities but the fire in the sky. Something more fierce is riding on the whirlwind. Something more awful than all our African ancestors is rising with the seas…across the sprawl, is the automobile, the noose around the neck of the earth, and ultimately, the Dreamers themselves.” (150)

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

“…predictions of national doom. I had head such predictions all my life… [I knew] that this was all too pat, knowing that should the Dreamers reap what they had sown, we would reap it right with them. Plunder has matured into habit and addiction; the people who could author the mechanized death of our ghettos, the mass rape of private prisons, then engineer their own forgetting, must inevitably plunder much more. This is not belief in prophecy but in the seductiveness of cheap gasoline."

h
heidikay1
Dec 08, 2015

That was the week you learned that the killers of Michael Brown would go free… and I heard you crying. I came in five minutes after, and I didn’t hug you, and I didn’t comfort you, because I thought it would be wrong to comfort you. I did not tell you it would be okay, because I have never believed it would be okay. What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.

s
shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

“The pursuit of knowing was freedom to me, the right to declare your own curiosities and follow them through all manner of books. I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

Summary

Add a Summary

Kyra_Audiophile Sep 12, 2016

Best selling non-fiction book that is advise from an African-American man to his young son, growing up in today's world. Insight into the contemporary African-American male experience.

Notices

Add Notices

s
shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

Violence: Murders of African American men

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top