Allegheny Listens Common Reading

The Allegheny Listens Common Reading experience is designed to introduce new students to our diverse learning environment and academic life at Allegheny prior to the start of classes.

Each year, all new and transfer students, along with current students, faculty, and staff, read a book that has been thoughtfully reviewed and selected by faculty, staff, and students.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This year’s book is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The book is Coates’ attempt to answer how we can all honestly reckon with our fraught racial history in a letter to his teenage son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

During Welcome Weekend, you will join your peers to engage with a panel of faculty from various academic disciplines to discuss the book, and you will meet with your classmates to participate in small group discussions about themes in the book. In the process, you’ll learn about Allegheny’s core values and learning expectations as you interact with others and share your thoughts, questions, and ideas.

Important: Please download this reading guide for the book, which includes some concepts you may want to keep in mind to frame your reading.

Download Reading Guide For Between the World and Me

Read the book over the summer, in time for Welcome Weekend (beginning August 25).

Available as an e-book or in print starting at roughly $11. The book also can be purchased at the Allegheny College Bookstore and at Summer Orientation.

More About the Book & Purchasing Options