Ta-Nehisi Coates
Book Recommendations

  • Postwar

    Postwar

    Postwar

    Tony Judt
    History
    4.36 (10,615)

    Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. postwar is the first modern history that covers all of europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, postwar is a rare joy.finalist for

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    A book that deeply informs my journalist sense. Writers-particularly American writers-constantly feel the pull of soulutionism, the desire to assure their readers that there is a way out, even when there isn't.

     — Source

  • The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence

    Edith Wharton,Maureen Howard
    Fiction
    3.96 (151,625)

    Winner of the 1921 pulitzer prize, the age of innocence is ’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous golden age of old new york, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”this is newland archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional may welland. but when the mysterious countess ellen olenska returns to new york after a disastrous marriage, archer falls deeply in love with her. torn between duty and passion, archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Again, I like this book for its willingness to embrace the tragic. No happy endings. The book is a defense of elitism, something I guess I oppose. But I found it credible, here.

     — Source

  • The Thirty Years War

    The Thirty Years War

    The Thirty Years War

    Anthony Grafton,C.V. Wedgwood
    4.17 (1,972)

    Europe in 1618 was divided between protestants and catholics, and bourbon and hapsburg, as well as empires, kingdoms, and countless independent states. after angry protestants tossed three representatives of the holy roman empire out the window of the royal castle in prague, world war spread from bohemia with similar abandon and relentless persistence, destroying european powers from spain to sweden as they marched on the contested soil of germany. fanatics, speculators, and ordinary people found themselves trapped in a nightmarish world of famine, disease, and seemingly unstoppable destruction. the thirty

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    God, I love this book. It's the history of an utterly depressing war with no real nobility, that ultimately descends into cannibalism. Right up my alley.

     — Source

  • Battle Cry of Freedom

    Battle Cry of Freedom

    Battle Cry of Freedom

    James M. McPherson
    History
    4.35 (28,780)

    Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, battle cry of freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the civil war. james mcpherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in mexico to the ending of another at appomattox. packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the civil war--the dred scott decision, the lincoln-douglas debates, john brown's raid on harper's ferry--and

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The definitive history of the Civil War. One of the greatest works of history I've ever read and arguably the best one volume history in existence.

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  • Neon Vernacular
    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Probably my favorite living poet. No on else taught me more about how important it was to think about how words make people feel. It's enough for people to know something is true. They have to feel it's true.

     — Source

  • The Waterworks

    The Waterworks

    The Waterworks

    E.L. Doctorow
    Fiction
    3.44 (3,020)

    “an elegant page-turner of nineteenth-century detective fiction.”–the washington post book worldone rainy morning in 1871 in lower manhattan, martin pemberton a freelance writer, sees in a passing stagecoach several elderly men, one of whom he recognizes as his supposedly dead and buried father. while trying to unravel the mystery, pemberton disappears, sending mcilvaine, his employer, the editor of an evening paper, in pursuit of the truth behind his freelancer’s fate. layer by layer, mcilvaine reveals a modern metropolis surging with primordial urges and sins, where the tweed ring operates the

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    What a strange and beautiful book. The story of a postbellum American newspaper editor investigating the undead. Doctorow's most underrated work.

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  • The Fire Next Time

    The Fire Next Time

    The Fire Next Time

    James Baldwin
    Political Science
    4.51 (80,638)

    A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, the fire next time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. at once a powerful evocation of james baldwin’s early life in harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. it consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the emancipation proclamation, that exhort americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. described by the

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Basically the finest essay I've ever read. It's technically two essays but it feels like one. Baldwin refused to hold anyone's hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you.

     — Source

  • The Country Between Us

    The Country Between Us

    The Country Between Us

    Carolyn Forche
    Poetry
    4.22 (2,547)

    “here is poetry of courage and passion, which manages to be tender and achingly sensual and what is often called ‘political’ at the same time. this is a major new voice.” — margaret atwoodthe country between us opens with a series of poems about el salvador, where carolyn forché worked as a journalist and was closely involved with the political struggle in that tortured country in the late 1970's. forché's other poems also tend to be personal, immediate, and moving. perhaps the final effect of her poetry is the image

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Another book of poetry that taught me what the form was. Forch has a beautiful sense of rhythm. I teach her famous poem "The Colonel" in essay and nonfiction classes. It's all about what you don't say.

     — Source