We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
An American Tragedy

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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.

“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) 

Praise for We Were Eight Years in Power

“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 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)
 

About Ta-Nehisi Coates

See more books from this Author
TA-NEHISI COATES is a blogger for TheAtlantic.com. He is a former staff writer at The Village Voice and Time, and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and numerous other publications. He lives in New York City.
 
Published October 3, 2017 by One World. 576 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon10
Rank this week
icon2
Peak Rank on Oct 22 2017
icon5
Weeks as Bestseller

Unrated Critic Reviews for We Were Eight Years in Power

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Biting cultural and political analysis from the award-winning journalist.

Sep 19 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

For everyone else, those who know these works and those who don’t, “We Were Eight Years in Power” is a brilliant summation of Coates’ essential philosophies, confirming something else we should already know — we’re witnessing greatness.

Oct 06 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

Reading American life through Coates’ lens these last eight years has forced his many readers (myself included) to improve their own habits of reasoning and skills for argumentation. As the best critics do, Coates draws us into conversation...

Sep 29 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

https://www.theguardian.com

See more reviews from this publication

Trump’s election was a case of erasing a black president with extreme prejudice, argues the hugely influential writer in this essay collection on race in the US Trump’s election was a case of erasing a black president with extreme prejudice, argues the hugely influential writer in this essay co...

Nov 18 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

http://ew.com

Like 2015’s National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me, his latest — eight essays originally published in The Atlantic over the past decade, each revisited in new forewords — brings both a big stick and a scalpel to the hornet’s nest of what the book’s subtitle dubs An American Tragedy:...

Oct 04 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

Pittsburgh Urban Media

Home .

Oct 26 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

https://www.bookreporter.com

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...

Oct 03 2017 | Read Full Review of We Were Eight Years in Power:...

Reader Rating for We Were Eight Years in Power
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 110 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×