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We Were Eight Years in Power
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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.

Reviews

"Biting cultural and political analysis from the award-winning journalist . . . [Ta-Nehisi Coates] reflects on race, Barack Obama's presidency and its jarring aftermath, and his own evolution as a writer in eight stunningly incisive essays. . . . He contextualizes each piece with candid personal revelations, making the volume a melding of memoir and critique. . . . Emotionally charged, deftly crafted, and urgently relevant."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Ta-Nehisi Coates has published a collection of the major magazine essays he wrote throughout the Obama years. . . . But Coates adds an unexpected element that renders We Were Eight Years in Power both new and revealing. Interspersed among the essays are introductory personal reflections. . . . Together, these introspections are the inside story of a writer at work, with all the fears, insecurities, influences, insights and blind spots that the craft demands. . . . I would have continued reading Coates during a Hillary Clinton administration, hoping in particular that he'd finally write the great Civil War history already scattered throughout his work. Yet reading him now feels more urgent, with the bar set higher."--Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post "A master class . . . Anyone who wants to know who we are--and where we are now--must sit with [Ta-Nehisi Coates] for a good while. . . . It should inspire us as writers, and as Americans, that he urges us . . . to become better--or at least clearer on why we're not."--Kevin Young, The New York Times Book Review "Coates . . . eloquently unfurls blunt truths. . . . Such a voice, in such a moment, is a ray of light."--USA Today

"There is a fresh clarity to [Coates's] voice--urgent, outraged, electric--that's never felt more necessary."--Entertainment Weekly "Indispensable . . . bracing . . . compelling . . . A new book from Coates is not merely a literary event. It's a launch from Cape Canaveral."--Jennifer Senior, The New York Times "Essential . . . Coates's probing essays about race, politics, and history became necessary ballast for this nation's gravity-defying moment." --The Boston Globe "Coates's collection of his essays from the past decade examine the recurrence of certain themes in the black community, the need for uplift and self-reliance, the debate between liberals and conservatives about the right approach to racism, and the virulent reaction in some quarters to any signs of racial progress. . . . Coates's always sharp commentary is particularly insightful as each day brings a new upset to the cultural and political landscape laid during the term of the nation's first black president. . . . Coates is a crucial voice in the public discussion of race and equality, and readers will be eager for his take on where we stand now and why." --Booklist (starred review) "Though the essays are about a particular period, Coates's themes reflect broader social and political phenomena. It's this timeless timeliness--reminiscent of the work of George Orwell and James Baldwin--that makes Coates worth reading again and again."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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