Hellen Andrews, a policy analyst and writer for multiple conservative publications, reviews “Between The World and Me” with a fine comb, and finds much wanting.
She writes: "When he set out to interview James Baldwin for his oral history of the civil rights movement, Who Speaks for the Negro? (1965), Robert Penn Warren knew that the challenge would be to get any straightforward answers out of him. “In general, in Baldwin’s utterances, written or spoken,” he explained, “there is a tendency to pull away from the specific issue which might provoke analysis, toward one more general … toward the absolute, the eschatological.”
Forewarned is forearmed, but in this case it was not enough: Baldwin’s pivot maneuver was invincible. “For example, when I asked him about the obligation of the Negro, he countered by saying he wasn’t sure what a Negro is. What is a Negro?” With quiet amusement, Warren admitted, “That is, indeed, a more charged and fascinating question than the one I had asked.”
That Ta-Nehisi Coates has the same ultra-macroscopic tendency as his hero can be seen in the highly recognizable style of conclusion with which he often ends his blog posts at The Atlantic: short, sweeping, indefinite, ponderous. Like Baldwin, Coates prefers to back up from the original question so far that, by the time he is finished, he is off in the exosphere"
Read the full review HERE.