MixedThe Washington PostThe great gift of Incarceration Nations is that, by introducing a wide range of approaches to crime, punishment and questions of justice in diverse countries it forces us to face the reality that American-style punishment has been chosen. It is not normal, natural or inevitable ... Anyone who is looking for detailed, nuanced descriptions of the various justice systems will be disappointed. The book reads much like a rambling, yet frequently insightful diary entry as she roams the globe ... I appreciated the range of stories and experiences shared, yet I could not help but worry that difficult issues had been glossed over.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewRather than urging his son to awaken to his own power, Coates emphasizes over and over the apparent permanence of racial injustice in America, the foolishness of believing that one person can make a change, and the dangers of believing in the American Dream ... the problem, to the extent there is one, is that Coates’s book is unfinished. He raises numerous critically important questions that are left unanswered ... Perhaps Coates hasn’t yet discovered for himself the answers to the questions he poses in Between the World and Me. But I suspect that he is holding out on us. Everything he has ever written leads me to believe he has more to say. He may imagine that we are better off figuring out for ourselves the true nature of the Dream and what it means to be engaged in meaningful Struggle. But I believe we could only benefit from hearing what answers Coates may have fashioned for himself.