“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.”
Isabel Wilkerson, Caste
In her ground-breaking book Caste, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson, explores how America—today and throughout its history—is shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
In Caste, Wilkerson 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 health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. She also points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, and the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize.
TIME, July 23, 2020
PBS News Hour, August 5, 2020
Vox, August 25, 2020
“A transformative new framework through which to understand identity and injustice in America.”