Common Read 2017-18: Between the World and Me

Join CSUSM students, staff, and faculty in our 7th Annual Common Read, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

"In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratificiation of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up, and killed in our streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden?" -- Random House Books

About the book

In a profound work that pivots from the most pressing questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of an African American father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s painful racial history and our current civil rights crisis.

Touching on a range of topics, Coates’s letter to his adolescent son is a deeply ruminative and moving meditation. The impetus for the book is Coates’s attempt to situate himself within our current fraught racial climate, while grappling with our nation’s history of slavery. As the book progresses, he offers philosophical investigations into systems of slavery, police brutality, what it means to parent a child, and other topics that are of critical import for understanding identity in twenty-first-century America.

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.

About the author

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son. Between the World and Me won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

(adapted from Random House Academic Services)

Contact us

For questions, comments, and feedback regarding CSUSM’s Common Read, email commonread@csusm.edu or call 760.750.4378.

You can also post Common Read feedback on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. What do you think of this year’s Common Read? Got an idea for a book related event? Tell us what you want to read next!

Start Reading Now

Between the World and Me ​is available to all CSUSM students, staff, and faculty:

Check Out a Reserve Copy Borrow a copy for 2 hours or 1 week. Pick up from the 3rd floor Check Out Desk.


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