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Caste
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents | Isabel Wilkerson
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. "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 America life today.
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Anya09
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* Racism is a modern conception.
* It is the most misunderstood word in American culture.
* It is the combination of racial bias and systemic power.

The author thoroughly researched three different caste systems including the one in the US. Also the real life stories in the book are riveting as well. This book shows how caste affects all of us even those who act as though it does not exist.

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erickahhh
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This is such an important book! It was so beautifully written and discusses important topics related to racial inequality in the United States. The stories shared were heartbreaking and jarring, though not surprising, unfortunately. Isabel Wilkerson adds to the conversation to show that every level of the system has some form of racism.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

There are no words. Impeccably researched, Wilkerson 's writing is intelligent but easy to absorb, and incredibly thought provoking.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#weekendreads with @rachelsbrittain

1) Just Like Home, Caste, What Bread The Devil Knead

2) Both? I can't choose. I listen to audiobooks for workouts, driving and house cleaning and podcasts during the week during work.

3) Current audio is Caste last was The Silent Patient (👎)

Smrloomis I loved Caste but not sure I could keep track of it on audio 😅 Hope you‘re enjoying it! 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @Smrloomis I am only listening during my hour work out each day, and after the hour I am taking some notes, it is working out pretty well. I have the hard copy so I can reread some of it. There is a lot to take in. 1mo
19 likes2 comments
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jenniferw88
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Lesliereads Does that say “#1 bestseller in Asian history?” 2mo
Bookpearl 😳 2mo
KathyWheeler It does discuss the caste system in India and compares it to racism in the US, so Asian history isn‘t totally out of line. 2mo
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Anya09
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Anya09
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Anya09
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Anya09
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Anya09
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Anya09
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This has been on my TBR list for a minute so excited to dive in.

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Sydneypaige
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“So the real question would be.. if people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?”
Read. This. Book.
So well researched and told. There are historical stories from around the world to personal current stories from the author. It‘s a long and heavy read, but does not lack the ability to pull you in.

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BookBosomed1
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@sprainedbrain The #bestof2021swap package you curated for me is amazing! I love it all. I‘m thrilled to have the two books; both have been on my list for awhile. You understand my love of hygge (all things cozy). It was a perfect package for me! Also, I do not have a pink tea cup in my collection so I‘m jazzed for this gift. It‘s been so fun being your swap partner this season. Thanks @candority for hosting. ❤️

monalyisha All these gifted, cozy socks are making me so happy! Hope you have an excellent New Year! ✨🎉📚 5mo
BookBosomed1 @monalyisha I am a sucker for socks. I hope you have a restorative & reflective New Year! 5mo
candority Caste is fantastic! Looks like a great swap package 😍 5mo
sprainedbrain I‘m so glad you like it! ❤️ 5mo
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AnneCecilie
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My absolute favorite from #May and one of my favorites this year #5thbookof2021
#12Booksof2021

Andrew65 A popular choice. 5mo
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Amie
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Informative and thought-provoking

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megnews
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The best book I read in April was a buddy read with #SheSaid. I learned so much from this book and was stunned by a lot of it. Recommended it quite a bit and couldn‘t stop talking about it.
Concrete Rose was another excellent April read.

#12Booksof2021

Andrew65 Sounds required reading. 5mo
jlhammar Brilliant book. 5mo
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ICantImReading
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book is incredible. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, it‘s both horrifying and important. I learned so much and want to continue returning to this text to process it further. It‘s very difficult to read about the atrocities humans have inflicted on one other, but it‘s necessary in order to heal from our history, understand our present, and hopefully create a better future for us all. I would recommend this to everyone.

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marleed
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I read this book just over a year ago and couldn‘t help but consider who I‘d be now if I‘d been taught history with a consideration of perspective bigger than white privilege. I just reread this book for an IRL bookclub, and this time I wept. In just a year‘s time I read this differently knowing that legislatures are actively working to silence that perspective.

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Purpleness
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Yahui07
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Like the Nazi comparison and learn something from this book. But redundancy is a problem that I could not say I love this book.
3.5 -4 stars out of 5.

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Purpleness
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Purpleness
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MayJasper Well that's done it. I have to read it now! 7mo
Purpleness @MayJasper I‘d recommend it! It‘s really interesting so far. 7mo
MayJasper @Purpleness thanks 😊 7mo
AnneCecilie I had to look up the picture and read more about the man. Going against everyone else, comes with a cost. 7mo
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LibraryCin
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This was interesting. I was particularly drawn in by the Nazi comparisons, and I think that‘s what I will remember the most of this book. I have to admit I unlikely to remember the list of “pillars” of the system (she did a chapter on each). I‘d like to say the first half (which included those pillars) wasn‘t as interesting, but it just depended on what she was talking about at the time. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin She has plenty of anecdotes through history, including her own. She also discusses politics, particularly the 2016 election, as well as the elections that brought Barack Obama to power. Of course, there is a lot about slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and the Confederacy, as well. She does do a really good job explaining and making the comparisons. This is – most definitely – well worth reading. 7mo
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Purpleness
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ONH
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4/5… important book, excellently supported, and a good read. The only reason I took a star off was because I had hoped it would go a little bit deeper… maybe I‘m expecting too much. This book was groundbreaking when it was published, but less-so now because so much other amazing work on race theory and institutionalized racism has followed it.

Also, she was incorrect about anthrax—it‘s a bacteria, not a virus 😊 otherwise, well-written!!

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sprainedbrain
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I finished this audiobook way back on August 12, and have been annoying those who know me ever since by pointing out the American caste system hard at work every time I see it.

Masterfully written, well-researched, infuriating book that is really just stating the obvious, but since so very many of us have been missing the obvious, this book should be required reading.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Nutmegnc “Masterfully written, well-researched, infuriating book that is really just stating the obvious, but since so very many of us have been missing the obvious, this book should be required reading.” One of the single best sentences in the history of sentences. YES. EXACTLY. 8mo
Kdgordon88 Great review! If anyone is inspired to read this book from Jenni‘s review check out @megnews page as she is hosting a buddy read starting this week breaking it down into small sections of her other book. Come read with us. 😊 (edited) 8mo
sprainedbrain @Kdgordon88 @megnews this is an excellent book to read together! 8mo
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megnews @Kdgordon88 @sprainedbrain 😊 we buddy read Caste with #SheSaid. My buddy read that starts Friday is Wilkerson‘s 8mo
kspenmoll Thanks for your review- I need to read this! 8mo
Kdgordon88 @megnews …where is my brain? I must have left it a home this weekend. I edited my comment with the correct book. Sorry everyone for my oops! 8mo
megnews @Kdgordon88 no problem! 8mo
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HPBookBug
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Fell short of my Summer reading goal 😔

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Another outstanding book from Isabel Wilkerson. An absolute must read.

LatrelWhite The BEST!!!!💕💕💕 8mo
violabrain @LatrelWhite I agree!! Both of her books are just spectacular. Anything she wants to write about, I want to read. 8mo
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Julsmarshall
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Wow! This book is a masterpiece! Beautifully written and expertly researched, it made me think, cry and mourn for so many lost souls. But it is ultimately hopeful and is a powerful and compelling call to action for us to all do our part-and then some-to make our world a more equal, inclusive and kind. Please read this book! Great in #audio too! #BookspinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 8mo
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Litsi
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Often redundant but worthy because it helps one understand the confluence of race and class - caste. It makes it clear that this tightly joined pair are responsible for stagnation of the American Dream.

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AlizaApp
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In this breathtaking work of non-fiction, Wilkerson compares racist systems in America to the caste systems in India and Naza Germany. A must read.

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Julsmarshall
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Megabooks Great book! 9mo
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HPBookBug
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Favourite book of the month (August) and of 2021 so far!

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HPBookBug
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Top 5 Non Fiction!

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Singout
Pickpick

Really worth reading: Wilkerson, a Black American, uses]“caste“ to describe a fixed framework, with eight elements, that racism or other oppressions, which change in time and place, can be fixed on. She mainly focuses on racism through time against Black Americans, but compares and contrasts this with the caste system in India and the genocide of Jews and other in the Holocaust.
#SheSaid April, #Bookspin July #Nonfiction2021 #AboutHistory

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m glad you finally got to this one. It was an interesting read. 9mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 9mo
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Singout

Once awakened, we have a choice. We can be born to the dominant caste but choose not to dominate; we can be born to a subordinated caste but resist the box others force upon us. And all of us can sharpen our powers of discernment to see past the external and to value the character of a person.

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Bevita
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Wow. I don‘t like nonfiction. This was amazing. I learned so much, don‘t even know where to begin. Page 377 (epilogue): even the longest lived of our species spends but a blink of time in the span of human history. How dare anyone cause harm to another soul, curtail their life or life‘s potential, when our lives are so short to begin with?

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QBub
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WOW!! What an eye opening read! I grew up in a blue-collar and didn‘t even realize at the time that we were borderline poor. But still I was vaguely aware that I had it better than others. Wilkerson‘s book points out the many ways in which those in the dominant caste have privilege they aren‘t even consciously aware of. This book looks at America through the lens of caste rather than race. Now I have some serious soul searching to do.

SamAnne So good. And yes, it is eye opening. One of a few books that have shifted my understanding of out history and society. 10mo
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Singout

Benjamin Franklin, 1750: “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.” Good info in this book about the historical changing definition of “Whiteness” and the history of barriers against those seen as “other.”

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Singout

Virginia 1662 “All children born in this country shall be held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother.” Breaking from English legal precedent, this new law allowed enslavers to claim children of Black women, the vast majority of whom were enslaved, as their property for life, and for ensuing generations. It invited them to impregnate the women themselves, if so inclined...it converted the Black womb into a profit center.

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Singout
Pickpick

#Bookspin for August
1. Girl, Woman, Other
2. The Lion‘s Gaze
3. Lost Children Archive
4. Me & White Supremacy
5. Five Little Indians
6. Talk about Race
7. The Salt Path
8. Warlight
9. Chop Suey Nation
10. Bush Runner
11. Africville
12. Redhead by the Side of the Road
13. Death and Life of Great Cities
14. The Innocents
15. How to Pronounce Knife
16. The Mountains Sing
17. The New Jim Crow
18. Hood Feminism
19. Seven
20. H is for Hawk

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 10mo
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DHill
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Starting this one now.

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thewallflower0707

I‘m only at 4% but I am already annoyed. The author has referred to America as the oldest democracy in the world twice so far, and in what universe is that even remotely true? If we think of democracy as every citizens having the right to vote, America is not even a democracy right now.

#caste #nonfiction #kindle

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Shakesteve
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Pickpick


This is a real eye-opener of a book, which redefines the centuries old system of racism and oppression in the United States as really a caste system like that found in India or Nazi Germany. Our caste system was simply determined by skin color rather than ethnicity or family name. This makes it all the more clear that accusations of “reverse racism” by white people are nonsense. “White privilege” is also obvious when put in this caste context.

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H_SQUARED
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SamAnne This was history I didn‘t know until reading this book. 11mo
H_SQUARED Me, as well. It‘s mind blowing to really look back at what we have done to other human beings. 11mo
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DieAReader
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#JoysofJune #Challenge2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

CoverToCoverGirl 👏🏻👏🏻 another one bites the dust❗️ 11mo
Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏👏 11mo
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mollyrotondo
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An excellent account of racism and explanation of how the U.S. is built on a caste system like India and Nazi Germany. I thought her explanations of what led to the 2016 election outcome were extremely clear and helped me wrap my brain around how the last four years happened in my own backyard. This book gathered all my questions of “Why?” and “How?” and provided the answer of the sickness of systemic racism. Recommend.

SamAnne Such a great read. 12mo
mollyrotondo @SamAnne I learned so much. This is a really important book I think. 12mo
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Samary
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Pickpick

Wonderful book, I learned a lot. Highly recommend!

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JoyBlue
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Jovy
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Wow! Anyone who reads this book will not be able to deny the existence of racism in America. Very compelling and tough to swallow — this should be required reading.

#Booked2021 #AntiRacismBook

Cinfhen Great review!! It‘s going in my June #BoTM box 🤓 (edited) 12mo
47 likes1 comment