“Coates enhanced this collection of columns for The Atlantic with fresh material, both personal and historical, as he reexamines eight pieces of writing during the eight years of Obama’s presidency from the standpoint of living under the Trump presidency.”
Featured in Time’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2017.
“One of our premier public intellectuals, Coates puts black life at the center of our understanding of the American experience with lyrical critique and political storytelling.”
Featured in LA Times’ Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017.
“A selection of Coates’s most influential pieces about race in America from The Atlantic, with subjects including Barack and Michelle Obama, Donald J. Trump, reparations and mass incarceration.”
Featured in New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2017.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a book that features Coates’s iconic and ever-impacting essays, which were first published in The Atlantic.
These essays include Fear of a Black President, The Case for Reparations and The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration along with eight new essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration. These new essays are a collection of Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development and original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era.
The National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me says these “urgently relevant essays reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath”, notably the election of Donald Trump.
These essays are a tribute to the Reconstruction-era black politicians as American society experimented in multiracial democracy but ultimately returned to a white supremacist rule.
In this collection, Ta-Nehisi Coates highlights the tragic echoes of recent history on this nation. He brings to the forefront 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”.
This book is a 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 and A New York Times Notable Book.
“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.” This resounding review comes from Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post.