We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

We Were Eight Years in Power An American Tragedy A sweeping collection of new and selected essays on the Obama era by the National Book Award winning author of Between the World and Me We were eight years in power was the lament of Reconstruction er

  • Title: We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
  • Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • ISBN: 9780399590566
  • Page: 118
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A sweeping collection of new and selected essays on the Obama era by the National Book Award winning author of Between the World and Me 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 Now Ta Nehisi Coates explores the tragicA sweeping collection of new and selected essays on the Obama era by the National Book Award winning author of Between the World and Me 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 Now 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.

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    One thought on “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy”

    1. Review forthcoming. Thoughtful, sobering essay collection with moments of memoir. Some exceptional moments, some repetitive ideas, a glaring absence of reckoning with the intersection of race and gender. Well worth a read.

    2. In We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me (2015), has given us not only another essential work of African American literature but also a classic example of American prose. Although it lacks the concentrated power and beauty of Between the World and Me, there is a good reason for this, for it is a collection of eight essays written for The Atlantic Monthly over a period of eight years, the years of the Obama presidency. In the prefatory “notes” to e [...]

    3. "White people are, in some profound way, trapped; it took generations to make them white, and it will take more to unmake them."- Ta-Nehisi Coates, from his notes to the fourth year, We Were Eight Years in PowerThe framework is basic. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes one essay he wrote from the Atlantic during each of the eight years of Barack Obama's presidency*. That's it. Well, actually, if that was it you could just Google his Atlantic essays (see list below) and not have to bother with the book. The [...]

    4. Ta-Nehisi Coates was unemployed and struggling before Obama's presidency was announced. With a black person running for president, and becoming president though there was a shift in the opportunities available for a writer who was addressing race. Ta-Nehisi Coates puts together eight essays he wrote through out the years of Obama's presidency and reflects on them in terms of his own head space at the time he wrote them and his growth as a writer. He tries to explain to us what he was trying to c [...]

    5. !! NOW AVAILABLE !!”People get readyFor the train to JordanPicking up passengersFrom coast to coast”“Faith is the keyOpen the doors and board themThere's room for allAmong those loved the most” -- “People Get Ready” – Curtis MayfieldIn 1895, South Carolina congressman Thomas Miller appealed to the State’s constitutional convention with these words -‘We were eight years in power. We had built schoolhouses, established charitable institutions, built and maintained the penitentia [...]

    6. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK SHOULD BE STUDIED IN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES. THIS IS ESSENTIAL, MUST READ MATERIALI cannot stress enough how essential this book is to the world and most importantly to America. This book comes at the most relevant time in America's history and should be read by every American. I am not even American and this book spoke to me in ways I could not imagine. Ta-Nehisi Coates is as Ghostface puts it, "an arsonist who burns with his pen". The writing in this [...]

    7. I of course read Ta-Nehisi Coates bestseller Between The World And Me and loved it(I may reread just to give it a proper review). So when I heard he was publishing a collection of essays he wrote for The Atlantic during the Obama years, I knew I had to read it. I like Mr. Coates felt that the 2016 election of 45 simply reconfirmed my disgust for "my" country. This book is a gut wrenching and maddening overview of what lead the majority of white Americans to follow the Presidency of the first bla [...]

    8. Audiobook narrated by Beresford Bennett 13h 39mI have so much to say, but find it difficult to articulate all my thoughts and feelings. Although I think I prefer my "Between the World and Me" audio because it is narrated by the author, this is definitely a great audio that I would recommend. As many of my fellow reviewers have already stated, this is a collection of eight essays written by Coates during the Obama presidency. I only discovered the author in 2017 and I truly enjoy his perspective. [...]

    9. Compilation of Atlantic articles across the past eight years. In all likelihood, you've read at least one already, such as "The Case for Reparations", "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration", or "My President was Black", but they are worth going over again. One article is taken from each of the eight years of the Obama presidency. The older pieces are still relevant - the first year's article is about Bill Cosby-style social conservatism and advocacy, which still continues after Cosb [...]

    10. "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.There on the willows we hung our harps,for there our captors asked us for entertainment, our plunderers demanded songs of joy; they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ but how can we sing the Lord's songs in a foreign land?" - Psalm 137:1-4"I had started in an unemployment office . I had started with the refuse of failure — a reporter’s pad half - filled with notes on some soon - to - be - disgraced entertainer — h [...]

    11. Coates intersperses notes of his experience each of the eight years of Obama’s presidency along with some of his carefully-researched larger essays previously published in The Atlantic. It is especially worthwhile to read again his earlier pieces in their context with the hindsight a few years bring, and not having to search around several places for his ideas makes this book especially valuable. Most of us were not prepared for Ta-Nehisi Coates when his work first appeared in the monthly maga [...]

    12. An excellent collection of essays written by Coates during the eight years of Barack Obama's administration. Where is the 'American tragedy' you may ask? In what follows those eight years. In the shattering of 'the dream of a post-racial America.'"writing is always some form of interpretation, some form of translating the specificity of one's roots or expertise or even one's own mind into language that can be absorbed and assimilated into the consciousness of a broader audience." In these essays [...]

    13. This book is a collection of eight essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates previously published in The Atlantic, one from each year of the Obama administration. Each essay is accompanied with an opening commentary that describes the circumstances, political environment and state of mind in which the essay was written including the author’s personal and professional situation at the time. In a real sense this book is a recapitulation of some political issues taken from the past eight years and examined from [...]

    14. Superb. Ta-Nehisi Coates has become the go-to guy on writing about race from the perspective of African-Americans. Happily, this is a role he doesn't shirk from, in fact he eagerly embraces his status. "I had become The Atlantic’s “Black Writer”—a phrase that described both my identity and my interests. There was always a sense that African American journalists should avoid being tagged as “black” lest they be “boxed in” and unable to pursue more “universal” topics such as th [...]

    15. Some parts were a bit repetitive but I'll give it a pass because this book is a collection of essays/articles Coates wrote in the 8 years of Obama's presidency, so they weren't originally telling a singular story therefore the repetition wasn't repetitive in its individual publishing.In this Coates discusses mass incarceration, redlining, the Civil War, reparations, Obama, Black Power Movement, Trump, and also debunks the newly-created and annoying myth that white America has always loved MLK an [...]

    16. I don’t want to spoil anything, but at the end of this book, Donald Trump becomes president of the United States. It’s a bummer.

    17. “White people are,in some profound way,trapped;it took generations to make them white,and it will take more to unmake them”.Σ' αυτό το βιβλίο υπάρχουν 8 άρθρα που έγραψε ο Coates για την εφημερίδα “The Atlantic” και καθένα απ’ αυτά αντιστοιχεί σ’ένα έτος της κυβέρνησης Obama.Πέρα απ’το να μιλήσει για το πώς αντιμετωπίστηκε τόσο απ’ του [...]

    18. I cycled through rage and anguish while reading this. It is a thorough retrospective on the (all too brief) moment of Obama's presidency, how it fits into the writer's life and how it fits into America's history.

    19. This was a very good collection some of Ta-Nehisi's essays from the past eight years. I had read five of them before and my intention was just to read the three that I had not read and the new essays but I changed my mind. His new essays preface the ones that he wrote for The Atlantic. He talks alot about where he was as a writer and what he was thinking about race relations. The new essays were so good that I felt compelled to reread the old essays. Overall I highly recommend this book to reade [...]

    20. Ta-Nehisi Coates is pissed. He has a thing or two to say about the historical continuity of racism in the USA, and in this series of eight outstanding essays, he says it well. I read it free and early thanks to Net Galley and Random House, and I apologize for reviewing it so late; the length wasn’t a problem, but the heat was hard to take. That said, this is the best nonfiction civil rights book I have seen published in at least 20 years. Coates started his writing career as a journalist, and [...]

    21. It’s good because Coates is an excellent writer and thinker so 5 stars for that, but it’s a collection of essays that he’s already published so there’s really nothing new here except the prologue to each essay. Those words are good and it was nice to read the essays again in order, but it’s not a new work.

    22. This book of essays is worth a read and made me think in new ways. Specifically, I saw a black conservatism I didn't know about before (from people I side-eye like Bill Cosby to people I admire like Barack Obama). My favorite essay by far is "Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War?" for its insight on revising and reframing history. Coates is skeptical and thoughtful.

    23. Where do I begin when reviewing We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates? I don't think actually I know I don't have the words to express how impressive this collection of articles is. I'm reminded of Zoolander 2 when Zoolander says he literally does not have the vocabulary to respond. I am in that moment. For those thinking what an idiot I am for throwing Zoolander into a review of Coates, who is a stunning writer, is absolutely correct. SoFor those familiar with Ta [...]

    24. "We were eight years in power." That is a quote from South Carolina state congressman Thomas Miller, an African-American who was elected at the end of Reconstruction. He was highlighting the achievements made during Reconstruction, arguing against the disenfranchisement of black voters. They had built schools, established charities, educated the deaf and dumb, and built infrastructure. But his very argument was a threat to white supremacy. Coates quotes W.E.B. DuBois in his book: "If there was o [...]

    25. This was really great. I've read Between the World and Me and loved it, but I hadn't read any of his pieces for The Atlantic. This book is essentially a bind-up of some of his most popular pieces from The Atlantic so everything was (luckily) new to me. The book is divided into the 8 years of Obama's presidency. In each section Coates recalls where he was in his life at that time, both personally and with his writing, then it segways into one of his pieces from The Atlantic. Ta-nehisi Coates is s [...]

    26. Faithful followers of Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic may think there is no reason to read We Were Eight Years in Power because it publishes eight of his articles from each year of the Obama presidency, but they would be wrong. I read those articles when they were written, but he introduces each one by noting how his ideas have changed and what he thinks he got right or wrong in the original. Reading in retrospective casts them in a different context and, let’s be honest, Coates essays are pa [...]

    27. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This book made me angry, sad, happy, ashamed, reminiscent, worried, optimistic, and anguished at different junctures. At times, I wanted to quit reading this book in disgust, at other times I could not read this book quick enough to absorb the knowledge being disseminated. Regardless of you race, gender, political affiliation, belief structure, or history, you should be able to at least glean some tangible amount of kn [...]

    28. An article from The Atlantic for each year of the Obama administration.Book Review: We Were Eight Years in Power embodies my mixed feelings when I hear the name Ta-Nehisi Coates. The first dozen or so times it was being thrown in my face, variations on "even that Coates guy? He thinks Obama's a joke." I didn't enjoy having to simultaneously debate America's favorite intellectual and some random dude's efforts to de-legitimize the first black president. But that's okay, because these eight articl [...]

    29. After overdosing on them in 2017 I gave up Election 2016 retrospectives, not being able to stomach them for the hatred and regret they stirred within me. I wasn't counting on this to be one of those books, but at times it very much felt like one. It's hard to view America any other way after reading "The election of Donald Trump confirmed everything I knew about my country and none of what I could accept."In this book TNC reproduces eight of his seminal articles devoted to race and politics and [...]

    30. The best aspect of Coates' essays published in The Atlantic (once a year for all eight of Obama's presidency) was the introductions he specially wrote for this collection. We, the readers (or in my case, the listener) could see how he developed his ideas and grew in confidence as a writer, from a blogger trying to impress his Dad, to a journalist with the ear of the president and the eyes of liberal America on him. The essays themselves are thorough and paint a picture of a nation that has never [...]

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