We Were Eight Years in Power is a collection of essays, written during the eight years of the Obama presidency. As a longtime subscriber to The Atlantic, I had read several of these pieces previously. The book does offer a substantial amount of new material: an introduction, epilogue, and lengthy "notes" by the author before each essay.
The essays are uniformly excellent and thought provoking. "My President Was Black" is a must-read reflection on the role race plays in US politics, and the author's own sometimes conflicting feelings about the first black president. The notes sections are more of a mixed bag. They are at their best when the author uses the space to take a fresh look at his previously published works, which he does frequently during the early chapters. Some of the later notes are less focused and therefore less poignant.
Readers of the excellent Between the World and Me will already be familiar with the author's life, opinions and political leanings, so much of the content here that is unique to this book concerns the twilight of the Obama era and the rise of Donald Trump. Ta-Nehisi Coates is an important voice of dissent in the Trump era. Sadly, he will likely have much more to write about in the coming years.
Note: An egalley of this book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.