Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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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.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Audio, 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780147520500
Branch Call Number: EAUDIO OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (03 hr., 35 min., 19 sec.)) : digital

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From Library Staff

A father’s letter to an adolescent son conveys his story as a black man understanding his circumstances through experiences, history reimagined, and reportage on the shooting of an unarmed acquaintance by the police. Ta-Nehisi Coates was a SAL speaker in 2017 and 2019.

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CarleeMcDot May 06, 2019

A few days before the hubby and I left for Joshua Tree I saw a friend mention this book as a "game changer" on her Facebook page. I figured I'd throw it on my "for later shelf" at the library so I wouldn't forget, but I noticed the audio book was available and it was only about 3.5 hours long (which would be perfect for the short roadtrip). I scooped it up from the library and the hubby and I listened to it on the way to and from JTree. Other than hearing it was very impactful I wasn't really sure what it was about. This book is written from the father's perspective to a son. The author is telling/ teaching his son about the ways of American culture and how it is essentially built on the back of violence, terror and the backs of others. Although this book focuses on being black in America, I felt like because it was written as a "letter" from a father to a son, it wasn't as pointed as other books that come out blatantly to say "this is what's wrong with America and this is why you suck". (Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe that the plight of blacks in America is real, despicable and something that needs to change, but some books turn off their readers because the audience doesn't like to be accused of their wrongdoings. The way this book was written I felt like I was observing an intimate conversation between a dad and his boy and was able to take away some very important knowledge without automatically being on the defense.) The hubby and I both felt as though we walked away with a better understanding of the systematic issues blacks (and other minorities) face. I think that the only thing that could have made this book better would have been to include actionable ideas on how to change the broken machine we are all a part of. I read books like this and know things need to change, but have a hard time seeing how I can help. Maybe in a tiny way being able to suggest others to read this book, question our environment and have honest and open conversations is one of the first (of many) steps I can take. PS I much appreciate when the author reads his/her own book. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

VanWaniel Dec 12, 2018

At once introspective & profoundly honest, Coates' colloquial-inundated epistle is ratting, brutal, touching, & may have a twinge of hopeful despair (forgiving the contradiction in terms). The discussion & introspection about "race" & the socialisation of supposed ethnographical self-identification are almost alarmingly recounted--while the story almost holds a film-like revisiting of the shared memories of both father and son (the Michael Brown and Treyvon Martin mentions are very emotional, & outside of his perspective very unique.)

This book pulls no punches, & is heightened tremendously through the author's magnetic, meaning-rich voice: the only one that could recount these words.

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

Experience Coates’s trademark style---a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage---in his own voice in this wonderful audiobook about race in America. Don’t miss this moving, thoughtful, and National Book Award-winning memoir. It will make you think, it will make you cry, it will make you want to read more of his work.

WCLSNorthForkLibrary Jan 20, 2018

Coates' writing style was for me, achingly beautiful. He has the knowledge and talent to draw connections that the reader may never have considered, but that are obvious once they've been pointed out. I will never look at the sitcoms I grew up with the same, as someone who grew up inside the dream. "Between the World and Me" is a total perception-shift in 3.5 hours and you must listen to the author read it himself.

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.

Mar 12, 2017

"Between the World and Me" was incredible, and was made all the more powerful by listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates narrate it. I could feel his pain, his hope, his sorrow, his awe. Coates' prose is brilliant and often left me reaching for a pen to jot down one of his sentences.

This book is short yet powerful enough that I'd like to see it as a reading requirement in high school.

Feb 01, 2017

Very powerful book and the author's reading makes it all that more powerful.

Jan 06, 2017

Hearing him read this himself is really great.

Nov 10, 2016

Finishing this just after the election debacle make it all the more real and devastating. It helped me see just how ignorant privileged Caucasian males, like myself, are. The book left me feeling even more hopeless than when I started and, given the individuals just voted into office, with a real sense of impending doom. This book is not uplifting or solution oriented but it is honest and eye opening.

Aug 12, 2016

Listen to the audiobook. In the voice of the author, it is poetry. Let his self seep into your self. Grasp the blunt, life-shaping force of fear and tension and oppression that he feels and run it around in your mind and in your gut. I am an old white man and can’t pretend to know what Coates expresses, but, I get it. Get the Audio and listen.

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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.


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