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Caste (Oprah's Book Club) - Isabel Wilkerson

Caste (Oprah's Book Club)

By Isabel Wilkerson

  • Release Date: 2020-08-04
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 3.5
3.5
From 1,147 Ratings

Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • Marie Claire

“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
 
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
 
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

Reviews

  • Caste

    5
    By Millcreet
    This book should be used as a tool to lead conversations in every aspect of American life for those willing to take a serious look at US. The layout of truth was at times, difficult for me to digest, and I consider myself to be aware and knowledgeable of the history of this country and it’s impact on my community and the way that the country continues to keep a hush on its past and how it manifest today. It is required reading for those who seek to be educated.
  • Caste

    2
    By Bauer304
    Very eloquently written however very misleading interpretation of the facts. Like so many others it’s just one individuals interpretation of reality. How sad our country has become with the ever increasing amount of falsehoods masked as fact coming from every medium.
  • Timely and necessary

    5
    By sporesprite
    This book tells it like it is. The US of A was built on the backs of slaves and at the cost of many lives. Read this book and get comfortable with the uncomfortableness that our fellow Americans deal with. Then speak out and change. I’m doing it...join me please. Let’s change this horrible way of living.
  • The most important book of 2020!

    5
    By PGF_Montana
    This truly should be required reading for every American. Thank you for helping us see that to which we’d been blind!
  • هههکک

    4
    By Diaco.ios
    رذعره هغ ر
  • Explains in plain language

    5
    By barko
    Many other works on this subject use heavy academic language. This books relates a clear, rational history of how racial hierarchy—and other hierarchies undermine us all.
  • Must Read for every American

    5
    By patches10011
    Riveting, illuminating, sad yet hopeful
  • Garbage,ridiculously bias and full of lies

    1
    By Seth V
    I only really made it to page 24 and stopped because I could see this was going to be full of manipulation and lies of the left just like in the media. Oprah is a billionaire because she lives in America and had hear free choice to become one but yet she has been brainwashed it seems to even put this in her book club wow! DONT WASTE YOUR TIME
  • Essential reading for all Americans

    5
    By Nick Barb
    This book needs to be taught in all schools across the country. It allows us to reframe our conception of what it means to be an American and what the history of our country — I.e. it was founded on the notions of a caste system and still operates as such today. It’s frankly horrifying, and if we don’t awaken to this reality and start talking about it in a widespread fashion, I fear we’re doomed to perpetuate this atrocity endlessly. So please, for the betterment of every single person living in America, read this book and develop a better understanding of who we are, how we got here, and how we must change.
  • Race Relations

    5
    By elaborate illusuion.
    CASTE is the most informative book on Race Relations in America that I have ever read. It illuminates how it was, is and should be.

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