By Manuel Roig-Franzia June 18, 2014
… “Ta-Nehisi is amazing in the way he thinks out loud and invites people in,” says James Bennet, the Atlantic’s editor in chief. “He’s carrying out his extraordinary intellectual development in public. He’s very direct about what he doesn’t know.”
Once, Bennet recalls, Coates was engaged in a gun control debate on the Atlantic’s Web site with Jeffrey Goldberg, a well-known colleague at the magazine. Goldberg referred to the philosopher and theologian Saint Augustine. Coates confessed that he didn’t know who Saint Augustine was, then charged ahead with the debate.
“I can’t think of another writer who wouldn’t have Googled it!” Bennet says.