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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Ta-Nehisi Coates exploded into our world after Between the World and Me hit the shelves. He has a keen eye for the issues facing America and uses his blistering words to highlight what needs to be done. His newest work is no exception. He has collected some of his best articles and combined them with his own personal stories. What emerges is a powerful look at the Obama years. By looking back, Coates has given us hope for the future.

— Ivy

Description


In these "urgently relevant essays,"* the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me "reflects on race, Barack Obama's presidency and its jarring aftermath"*--including the election of Donald Trump.

New York Times Bestseller - One of Time's Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of the Year - One of USA Today's top 10 books of the year - A New York Times Notable Book

"We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president."

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period--and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective--the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates's iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including "Fear of a Black President," "The Case for Reparations," and "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration," along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates's own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

*Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Essential . . . Coates's probing essays about race, politics, and history became necessary ballast for this nation's gravity-defying moment."--The Boston Globe

About the Author


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.


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399590566
ISBN-10: 0399590560
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 400
Language: English

 

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