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Between the World and Me

Notes on the First 150 Years in America. Winner of the National Book Award, Nonfiction 2015

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
Rezension
"I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading."-Toni Morrison

"Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Really powerful and emotional."-John Legend, The Wall Street Journal

"Extraordinary . . . [Coates] writes an impassioned letter to his teenage son-a letter both loving and full of a parent's dread-counseling him on the history of American violence against the black body, the young African-American's extreme vulnerability to wrongful arrest, police violence, and disproportionate incarceration."-David Remnick, The New Yorker

"Brilliant . . . a riveting meditation on the state of race in America . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders, and it is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers at the very moment national events most conform to his vision."-The Washington Post

"An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir written in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man . . . It is less a typical memoir of a particular time and place than an autobiography of the black body in America. . . . Coates writes with tenderness, especially of his wife, child, and extended family, and with frankness. . . . Coates's success, in this book and elsewhere, is due to his lucidity and innate dignity, his respect for himself and for others. He refuses to preach or talk down to white readers or to plead for acceptance: He never wonders why we just can't all get along. He knows government policies make getting along near impossible."-The Boston Globe

"For someone who proudly calls himself an atheist, Coates gives us a whole lot of 'Can I get an amen?' in this slim and essential volume of familial joy and rigorous struggle. . . . [He] has become the most sought-after public intellectual on the issue of race in America, with good reason. Between the World and Me . . . is at once a magnification and a distillation of our existence as black people in a country we were not meant to survive. It is a straight tribute to our strength, endurance and grace. . . . [Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America."-Los Angeles Times

"A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening."-The New Yorker

"A work that's both titanic and timely, Between the World and Me is the latest essential reading in America's social canon."-Entertainment Weekly

"Coates delivers a beautiful lyrical call for consciousness in the face of racial discrimination in America. . . . Between the World and Me is in the same mode of The Fire Next Time; it is a book designed to wake you up. . . . An exhortation against blindness."-The Guardian

"Coates has crafted a deeply moving and poignant letter to his own son. . . . [His] book is a compelling mix of history, analysis and memoir. Between the World and Me is a much-needed artifact to document the times we are living in [from] one of the leading public intellectuals of our generation. . . . The experience of having a sage elder speak directly to you in such lyrical, gorgeous prose-language bursting with the revelatory thought and love of black life-is a beautiful thing."-The Root

"Rife with love, sadness, anger and struggle, Between the World and Me charts a path through the American gauntlet for both the black child who will inevitably walk the world alone and for the black parent who must let that child walk away."-Newsday

"Poignant, revelatory and exceedingly wise, Between the World and Me is an essential clario
Portrait
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for
The Atlantic. His book
Between the World and Me won the National Book Award in 2015. Coates is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
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  • I.

    . . . we sprawl in gray chains in a place full of winters when what we want is the sun

    Amira Baraka, "Ka Ba"

    Son,

    Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body. The host was broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and I was seated in a remote studio on the far west side of Manhattan. A satellite closed the miles between us, but no machinery could close the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak. When the host asked me about my body, her face faded from the screen, and was replaced by a scroll of words, written by me earlier that week.

    The host read these words for the audience, and when she finished she turned to the subject of my body, although she did not mention it specifically. But by now I am accustomed to intelligent people asking about the condition of my body without realizing the nature of their request. Specifically, the host wished to know why I felt that white America's progress, or rather the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white, was built on looting and violence. Hearing this, I felt an old and indistinct sadness well up in me. The answer to this question is the record of the believers themselves. The answer is American history.

    There is nothing extreme in this statement. Americans deify democracy in a way that allows for a dim awareness that they have, from time to time, stood in defiance of their God. But democracy is a forgiving God and America's heresies-torture, theft, enslavement-are so common among individuals and nations that none can declare themselves immune. In fact, Americans, in a real sense, have never betrayed their God. When Abraham Lincoln declared, in 1863, that the battle of Gettysburg must ensure "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth," he was not merely being aspirational; at the onset of the Civil War, the United States of America had one of the highest rates of suffrage in the world. The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant "government of the people" but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term "people" to actually mean. In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. Thus America's problem is not its betrayal of "government of the people," but the means by which "the people" acquired their names.

    This leads us to another equally important ideal, one that Americans implicitly accept but to which they make no conscious claim. Americans believe in the reality of "race" as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism-the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them-inevitably follows from this inalterable condition. In this way, racism is rendered as the innocent daughter of Mother Nature, and one is left to deplore the Middle Passage or the Trail of Tears the way one deplores an earthquake, a tornado, or any other phenomenon that can be cast as beyond the handiwork of men.

    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 this new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.

    These new people are, like us, a modern invention. But unlike us, their new name has no real meaning divorced from the machinery of criminal power. The new people were something else before they were white-Catholic, Corsican, Welsh, Mennonite, Jewish-and if all our national hopes have any fulfillment, then they will have to be something else again. Perhaps they
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 176
Erscheinungsdatum 14.07.2015
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-8129-9354-7
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 19.3/13.1/2.5 cm
Gewicht 254 g
Abbildungen schwarzweisse Fotos
Verkaufsrang 26408
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 33.90
Fr. 33.90
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