Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Release Date: 2015-07-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 672 Ratings


Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly

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.

Praise for Between the World and Me

“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”The Boston Globe

“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”The Washington Post

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”Vogue

“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”The New Yorker

“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”Entertainment Weekly


  • One long diatribe

    By Storm ID. MayorBilly
    And a tribal diatribe at that! Full of latent racism dressed up as prose and power. This can’t be all there is to this man, or can it?
  • Guidance

    By Epiph323
    This book not only helped me have an honest conversation with myself but prepared me for future conversations with my children.
  • Must read

    By Mcloving Edward
    Must read. Will recommend this to any African American young adult
  • Moving yet easy to read

    By t master
    what an incredible book for me, a rich white young male from an affluent part of Philadelphia, to read. I have seen the struggle and the ghettos and been inside of them, but this book put me inside those shoes. Absolute must read
  • Angry man ranting....

    By Ayayrun
    This book is full of hate and racism. This author is not inspiring in his story as he only becomes more and more cynical as he ages. This book promotes fear and hate and it's disgusting how many people think this book should be required for a correct understand of America today.... it's not. One angry atheist man inspiring other people to fear the social movements of America
  • Between the world and me

    By Hattirat
    Between the world, the small part I skimmed, is poorly written by an un intelligent self absorbed fool
  • So great!!

    Read it in 2 days! I couldn't put it down at all! There will be times you will want to cry because if the truthfulness in his words. After I finished it, the only thing I could say was "wow".
  • Well written. Great read. Opinion.

    By DrIndrajith
    Coates is a masterful writer, there's no doubt about that and it goes without saying that the black diaspora have been persecuted for centuries and that remnants of slavery and racism are still very much alive in the US. However, I wasn't sure about how the Prince Jones story tied into his overall depictions of racism in the US; Jones was shot by a black police officer and his story (which took up a significant portion of the book) had no relation to Treyvon Martin, Jordan Davis or the The Black Lives Matter movement in any way. This is simply one man's opinionated exploration to discover the roots of racism in America but in my opinion, it falls short of a thorough explanation and a solution to the issue.
  • Not a Black man but a poor man… completly speaks to me

    By barberin0o
    this book is about a fathers advice on what the world is really like for people like him and how he should always now that his body is can be taken away from him at anytime. Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the word “ body” to discribe ones freedoms in this counrty and how easy it is to have it stripped from you at any moment wether it be by force to the death or incarsiration … it doesnt take a black american to understand this way of life but a life of many young men who have grown up on the mean streets of major citys through out the counrty to see how unfair the legal system is and what opsticals we face to stay out of trouble and not be out into the stytem for the rest of our lives !!! good book i would give this to my son even though i am not black …
  • I may be a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

    By JimPatterson50
    Ta-Nehisi Coates is a powerful writer, who has managed to bring to light the idea that there is no race, only people. I still remain a Dreamer, but this book has helped me come closer to consciousness. Through the telling of his life story, and that of Prince Jones, he compels us to wake up and smell the injustice, as it were, that remains fully in place today. Maybe not in bodies being owned as in slavery, but owned and looked upon as less-than by the Dreamers. Voices like this come along so rarely today. I pray that his voice continues to resonate throughout the land. Keep writing. Keep thinking. My work is clearer, now. Attempting to awaken from the Dream, before it is too late for the people of this planet. Thank you for writing this book.