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Publisher's Summary

Ta-Nehisi Coates' debut is an infectious, reflective memoir - a lyrical saga of surviving the crack-stricken streets of Baltimore in the '80s. Son of Vietnam vet and black awareness advocate Paul Coates - a poor man who set out to publish lost classics of black history - Ta-Nehisi drifts toward salvation at Howard University, while his ominous brother Big Bill finds his own rhythm hustling.
©2008 Ta-Nehisi Coates; (P)2008 Recorded Books,LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Stacey on 01-26-15

Interesting glimpse into a life so unlike my own

Coates memoir of his boyhood-to-manhood years was an interesting read. The language and tone is quite different from his current writing at the Atlantic; fortunately, those unfamiliar with the slang in the book can get help from the internet (I had to Google phrases like "giving dap"). I am so unfamiliar with the world of his youth - I read this knowing nothing of black boys growing up in the city during the crack era. Coates lyrically describes his life and the ways it typified and departed from the life of his peers. It was a very worthwhile read and well-performed by the reader.

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41 of 42 people found this review helpful


By salamander on 12-26-11

The coming of age of a rising public intellectual

What made the experience of listening to The Beautiful Struggle the most enjoyable?

Ta-Nehisi Coates blogs for the Atlantic Monthly. I'd been reading his blog for quite awhile when it occured to me that this book might be available on audible. It's an excellent introduction to Ta-Nehisi's life and world-view, particularly the role played by his father, Paul Coates, of Black Classic Press. Read his blog--he's a rising public intellectual and just very wise on many fronts. Additionally, JD Jackson captures the voice I hear when I read Ta-Nehisi's blog, and taught me to correctly pronounce his name (Ta-neh-HA-si), which I'd been mispronouncing for a long time.

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31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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