Our Favorite Books of 2017
What astonishes us about this year's best books is their audacity, their inventiveness, and their ability to delight and devastate in equal measure. In a field rich with powerful voices, these spoke to us most urgently.
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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
Coates's National Book Award–winning epistolary tour de force, Between the World and Me,
comes this essay collection that grapples with the specter of "Good Negro
Government"—upstanding, accomplished black leadership—and how such
government plays out in a racist society. In pieces he wrote during the two
terms of the previous administration, Coates argues that "the symbolic
power of Barack Obama's presidency...assaulted the most deeply rooted notions
of white supremacy" and ignited a reactionary movement that gave rise to
Trumpism. The author's intellectual fearlessness functions as a beacon.