Between the World and Me

Written by:
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by:
Ta-Nehisi Coates

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
570
Narrator
108
Release Date
July 2015
Duration
3 hours 35 minutes
Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)
 
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • 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.
Reviews
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kurtis p

Eye opening book for young americans.

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Cynthia Moberly

Awesome book.

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Dori Augustine

Very poetic and brilliantly written. The ideas and concepts require a re-read to fully grasp the deep and relevant meaning of Mr. Coates story and message. I listened while commuting and his voice is so hypnotic that I occasionally found myself being swept away and into his stories. A must read for needed insight to the black experience.

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Maryam Adrangi

This is now my favourite audiobook. I really like that it was narrated by the author and I wish someone had told me earlier how poetic and beautifully crafted his book was. Glad I know now. So beautiful and so poignant. I think I particularly liked it after having listened to the Longform interview with the author. I found him particularly more humanize since interviews tend to be no much more candid than readings

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Anonymous

Wow. An incredible read. And an even more compelling listen.

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Kimberly C.

Listening to Ta-Nehisi read this made it even more profound and poetic. An absolute must read/download/listen. So powerful.

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Anonymous

Beautiful, poignant articulation of the mark of racism, especially for the bodies of black folk. The entire book is poetic, insightful, graceful and tragic. I would agree with Toni Morrison that this is a must read.

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thomas m

Amazing book. The author has captured exactly the feeling and was able to convey his experience to me personally.

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Justin Resnick

Loved this book. I found it deeply touching and relatable, while also very challenging as a "white" reader. I recommended it to my dad. The narration in the author's own voice is powerful in itself. Recommended!

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Yolanda Lowry-Hart

POWERFUL! Both well written and well read. I highly recommend this title.

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Alex F.

This book gracefully makes accesible a proper view of Black culture in America, and answered questions I have had while pushing me to seek to understand more. After reading "The New Jim Crow," I was asking myself how Black people even get out of bed in the morning, knowing that there is a target on their bodies without exception. Ta-Nehisi Coates answered this for me, and led me to a deeper understanding of what it is to live as a Black person in white superemacist America. It is not the only read to inform white people like me of the conditions of life in a Black body, but it is certainly a must read!

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Casey J.

A powerful, emotional, and illuminating book. The fact that Coates reads it brings even more gravity to the book. Couldn’t recommend this enough.

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Jeffrey B.

Opened my eyes to many new aspects of the African American’s experience.

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Anonymous

Excellent, seemingly honest story. Thanks for laying it out.

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Karla B.

I loved this book. The framing of the novel as an a letter from father to son allows the reader to access an stunningly intimate story. Often ‘’issues of race” are regarded with detachment or an academic manner, but this book presents them and their direct impact on the black body with a frankness that is both shocking and also mundane - revealing to us that which we already know.

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Morgan S.

Very good, extremely relatable

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James Wilson

This book is powerful and causes me to stop and think about my own children and the things they will have to endure during their lifetime. Being black and proud, it stirs-up a lot of emotions, from sadness, to anger, to hopeful. Ultimately, this book is a realistic perspective that all people, especially black, can relate.

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Lorraine C.

The book was riveting. A prose poem letter for us all. Not just because of the times we live in, but also for the personal voice of a father's cautionary and inspiring words to his son living in them. Wake up the Dreamers!

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Michelle A.

Loved it! Perspectives as a black woman, that were new to me. Bold, honest, thought provoking.

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Christina C.

I echo Toni Morrison's blurb for this books-- "required reading" for sure! A beautifully written, incredibly powerful book.

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Leonard M.

The book is very powerful. Although I am not a person of color, I have a deep appreciation for the words of Mr. Coates. In this book, he is explaining the world, as he sees it, to his 15 year old son. It is a poetic and disturbing look inside the mind and thinking of a black father who has lived the black experience in America. Once again, our imperfections are highlighted for all to see and understand. Perhaps we may not agree with everything the author says, but we cannot deny his honesty nor his viewpoint. We have not suffered his experience. I recommend this book- and especially the audiobook version where the author speaks to each one of us-while

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Traci C.

Beautifully and honestly written. Definitely a book to share with all youth.

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Sarika Gupta

Beautifully written, reflective, and moving. It is clear from hearing the story that the author wrote this with love for his son. I hope this becomes required reading - it is about so much more than race in the US.

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adam croce

Brilliant and poignant. A must read. A sharp insight into the present day history of race in the US.

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Adey Fisseha

I just finished listening to this heart wrenching and heart warming love letter to his son, his people and ultimately his country. This should be required reading. There is so much here to think about that I will now promptly listen again. I know I am forever changed by the experience.

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Coretta Turner

Beautifully done. What a wonderful letter/conversation to have and dedicate to his son. It was brutally honest, loving and heartfelt.

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Stephen Blount

Absolutely wonderful. His story was absolutely intriguing. His voice added the right amount of passion to each word and each sentence. Great job, Ta-nehisi Coates!

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Adrian Burrell

Some will not understand and that's ok. Great book great narration

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Bob Zappone

Listening to Mr Coates tell his story, in his own voice, is a powerful experience. I was already an ally, but I was changed and, as a white person, have a much better understanding of the destruction and chaos our white privilege/racism caused and causes to our black and brown fellow citizens. I have a mixed-race grandson who is more dear to me than life itself and I constantly heard Mr. Coates addressing him as he focused on his own son. "Required reading" indeed.

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Ann Toliver

I found that Coates expressed so much wisdom throughout this text to his son. Wisdom that is hard to debate in honesty. He has given fodder for a fire of thought. I enjoyed his narration as well. However the depth of this text requires print and that you own your own copy for further reflection and marking if you are so moved.

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Benjamin Terry

Incredibly moving. Genuine and sincere. The authors voice helps to elevate the text and remove all barriers.

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Silmara Connors

Very powerful, controversial, definitely a required reading!!!

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Michanne Hoctor-Thompson

An excellent account of what the race category has done in America to our youth. A must read for everyone, especially whites. It will remove your rose-colored glasses.

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Andrew Rogers

Insightful, powerful, and challenging. Coates is one of the best writers of his generation and his poetic prose broke me. I've had to process this book, tell my friends about it, rethink how I experience the world and how I view race relations. His outlook is bleak, but it's a necessary wake-up call to Americans lost in the dream.

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Myron Lezak

Very powerful narration and view of America from a variety of foci

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Adrienne Allen

Changes how I see the world, amazing book , quick read but stays with you long after

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stevenson greene

This was a beautiful piece of literature. One of the best things I have head in a very long time. It was moving, inspirational, educational and beyond words. Thank Ta-Neshisi for such a great piece of work that will be apart of culture forever.

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Celia Hair-Brown

Loved the perspective this book brought. Hearing the author read this love letter to his son was so moving. And hearing his love/fear for and with his country incredibly provocative. Thank you so much.

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Alisia Muir

Required reading for every adult in the US. Beautiful

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Zachary Cooperstein

One of the most incredible pieces of literature i have ever come across.

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Barbara Tobias-Holtz

Extremely well written. This book explores the diaspora in a way that can change lives and heighten ones level of awareness. Thank you, thank you, thank you my brother for providing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity within our world. I study our men and work for and with our men. I love our young boys and men. I wish my son was still alive, murdered at 28.... I would have shared it with him. Dr. T

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Unknown Unknown

Wonderful way to learn about such a difficult topic. Heart warming and heart breaking.

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Therese Baldwin

Well written and narrated. My book club enjoyed this book immensely. Offered a wide range of discussion.

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Madeleine Redelinghuys

This most thought provoking book is not only beautifully written and moving but also necessary. Everyone should read it. Everyone.

Between the World and Me
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