An important book for this moment in time
Oprah Winfrey revealed her latest book club pick “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson as her now 86th selection for her Oprah’s famous book club. Winefrey’s excited and clearly inspired take was definitive: she says that she immediately recognized the importance of this book, calling it one the most important books she has ever selected. She even said in a press release “all of humanity needs to read this book”. Winfrey is a known fan of Wilkerson as she had previously recommended the author’s first book “The Warmth of other Suns“.
“Of all the books I’ve chosen for book club over the decades, there isn’t another that is more essential a read than this one. It explains why we are where we are in terms of racial injustice and inequality.”
Oprah was so moved with this read that, it was reported, she will be purchasing 500 copies of the book to send to influential leaders and educators throughout the country. Below is some additional information about Oprah’s book pick from the publisher as well as where to purchase to support your local independent bookstores. Happy reading!
Caste : The Origins of Our Discontents
Publisher description: 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.
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