A piece of tan paper with the title scrawled across it.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

by Ta-Nehisi Coates Author

During President Barack Obama's time in office, there was hope and real progress towards a less racist society. But after he left office in 2016, just about everything in the U.S. took a turn for the worse. The title is a nod to post-Reconstruction black politicians, a lament that echoes in current times. Beginning with his powerful Atlantic essay, "Fear of a Black President", Coates adds layers of new essays and new insight. He is deeply critical of the Obama administrations failures, while fully aware of the systemic racism and horrific backlash that Black people faced then and continue to confront. With his deep understand of politics and race, Ta-Nehisi Coates elaborates on what went wrong in the 2016 election and how racism and fear played starring roles. He also examines the ways new voices and groups have sprouted into existence or grown over the last decade and how the country must continue combating its ugly past.

New York Times Bestseller • Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by dozens of publications.