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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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We Were Eight Years in Power
An American Tragedy
By (author): Ta-Nehisi Coates
9780399590573 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Oct 30, 2018
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.9 in 400 pages Random House One World
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” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—including the election of Donald Trump.

The years between 2008 and 2016 don’t just mark two terms of a historic presidency but define a dramatic era in politics, activism, culture, and historiography that have reshaped this country and its public discourse. During this same period, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who begins the book in an unemployment office and ends it having interviewed President Obama in the Oval office, became one of the country’s most important voices through his work at The Atlantic. There he wrote a series of blockbuster, award-winning articles that changed the public conversation around race, culture and political possibility, and became, himself, an example of how the Obama era changed individual lives and opened opportunities for new voices to find a place at the center of the American story.

This important volume offers Ta-Nehisi’s most prominent and influential Atlantic articles, from “Fear of a Black President” to “The Case for Reparations” to “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” But the book’s daring, imaginative format—real-time journalism combined with retrospective essays that range from the personal to the historical to the analytical and create a cohesive narrative arc—is the key to its uncanny ability to offer the essential account of the Obama years, while also making a powerful, transformative argument about history, identity, and the American future.

Publication History: One World HC (10/17)

STEPBACK WITH QUOTES for this edition.

HARDCOVER SUCCESS: Featured on several Best of the Year Lists; nine week run on New York Times and National Indie Bestseller lists.

NATIONAL PRINT AND ONLINE COVERAGE regarding the success of the Between the World and Me stage adaptation at the Apollo Theater.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Coates’s previous book, Between the World and Me, won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction, among numerous other awards, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The book has spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has over a million copies in print.

16 TOTAL ESSAYS, EIGHT ORIGINAL ESSAYS; the rest were published in The Atlantic. The essays cover the Obama era and the 2016 ELECTION AND BEYOND.

LOYAL FOLLOWING: Coates’s core readership has followed him (and grown) from his blog to his Atlantic articles to his bestselling books, including this year’s blockbuster graphic novel, The Black Panther.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award. 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.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: Baltimore, MD

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“Biting cultural and political analysis from the award-winning journalist…[Ta-Nehisi Coates] reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath, and his own evolution as a writer in eight stunningly incisive essays…. He contextualizes each piece with candid personal revelations, making the volume a melding of memoir and critique…. Emotionally charged, deftly crafted, and urgently relevant.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

“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.”—Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post

“A master class…Anyone who wants to know who we are—and where we are now—must sit with [Ta-Nehisi Coates] for a good while…. It should inspire us as writers, and as Americans, that he urges us…to become better—or at least clearer on why we’re not.”—Kevin Young, The New York Times Book Review

“Coates…eloquently unfurls blunt truths…. Such a voice, in such a moment, is a ray of light.”—USA Today

“There is a fresh clarity to [Coates’s] voice—urgent, outraged, electric—that’s never felt more necessary.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Indispensable…bracing…compelling…A new book from Coates is not merely a literary event. It’s a launch from Cape Canaveral.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

“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 collection of his essays from the past decade examine the recurrence of certain themes in the black community, the need for uplift and self-reliance, the debate between liberals and conservatives about the right approach to racism, and the virulent reaction in some quarters to any signs of racial progress…. 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)

“Though the essays are about a particular period, Coates’s themes reflect broader social and political phenomena. It’s this timeless timeliness—reminiscent of the work of George Orwell and James Baldwin—that makes Coates worth reading again and again.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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