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Between the World and Me

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Narrated By: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: July 2015

Duration: 3 hours 35 minutes


 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| NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST|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)



  • kurtis p

    Eye opening book for young americans.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • thomas m

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Cynthia Moberly

    Awesome book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • 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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Yolanda Lowry-Hart

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • 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

  • Traci C.

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

  • 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

  • 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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