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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents de…
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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (edició 2020)

de Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,2321642,793 (4.44)238
""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"--… (més)
Membre:m.a.brooks
Títol:Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Autors:Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)
Informació:Random House (2020), Edition: Reprint, 496 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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Informació de l'obra

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents de Isabel Wilkerson

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» Mira també 238 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 163 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A disturbing look at the way Caste affects a society, especially the U.S. Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people , how America today and throughout history has been shaped by a hidden caste system
, a rigid hierarchy of huma. 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 system of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of 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 surprising health costs of caste, in depression, and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. ( )
  creighley | May 13, 2024 |
This is a tough read, not because it is difficult, but because the subject matter is so difficut to read about. There is so much to be taken from it, but one thing that has stuck is how there are no statues of Nazis in Germany, but we have (or had) plenty of statues of Confederates. They have monuments to the Jews, but we have had few monuments until very recently to the slaves. ( )
  spounds | Apr 24, 2024 |
It’s a tough read, but needs to be read by everyone ( )
  corliss12000 | Mar 16, 2024 |
This is an excellent book, a must-read for anyone who wants to really understand what American society is really about.

Highlights for me include:
- A lengthy description of the "pillars" of any caste system, and how American society qualifies.
- A comparison of the American system with those of India and Nazi Germany. (Was gob-smacked to learn that the Nazis modeled their subjugation of the Jews on America's Jim Crow laws.)
- A description of the price America pays because of it's caste system (compared to other "developed" countries, we have relatively high infant mortality, poor scholastic scholastic achievement, shorter life expectancy, huge prison population, etc etc etc).
- The author's personal examples of how lower caste people are treated in America. Some are pretty devastating, all made me feel ashamed.

I felt the book had one weakness: there was very little discussion of where Native Americans, Latinx Americans, and Asian Americans fit into the system. This doesn't spoil the book, far from it, but I would have enjoyed the analyses.

Overall, this is a very engaging read, without being pedantic and with no detectable filler. It's an eye-opening challenge to thoughtful White readers, implicitly asking "how can people, who claim to be compassionate and fair-minded freedom lovers, allow such a system to exist?" This book has a permanent place in my shelves, and I will read it again.
( )
  rscottm182gmailcom | Mar 12, 2024 |
I have to say I picked up this book without hearing anything about it, which is a good thing. I thought it was an objective sociological study of caste with the obvious links to racism, classism etc. This book didn't deliver on that level. It wasn't an all-encompassing study of caste, focusing primarily on the position of the black people in the USA. While it definitely speaks about the horrendous racist history of the USA (there were some truly powerful moments in this book), the approach was a strange mix of anecdotal and factual, which was openly politically biased and very binary (in terms of black and white) with other minorities strangely underrepresented.

The biggest disappointment was that Wilkerson blames everything on this notion of caste and lists personal anecdotes that may be completely unrelated to her central thesis. She also gives very little space to talk about the class system based on the economy which is very central to the whole idea of caste. I felt disappointed with this as it seems to me that many black activists avoid this topic either because they do not want to be called out as communists or because in the American narrative it is just inconceivable to try to overthrow the holy cow of neoliberal capitalism.

I expected the central thesis of this work to be the comparison of the Indian caste system, Nazi Germany racial laws etc. with its contemporaries i.e. Jim Crow's south (that part was was done well, IMHO) etc. Unfortunately, the Indian caste system is covered very superficially, with no explanation of how that system evolved over time, especially in relation to the external (colonial) influence. The same superficial approach goes for Nazi Germany, which in the light of the recent research published in The Guardian that found that 2/3 of the US young adults don't know about the Holocaust is not something to take easily.
I gave up expecting a more scientific, systematic approach very early on in the book when I realized that this is not what the author had in mind.

This book is very successful in depicting systemic racism in the USA which is undeniable and very deeply entrenched into the social fabric of the society. I'm not convinced, however, that the current system is as monolithic as Wilkerson claims.

On the positive note, the writing style is engaging and Wilkerson uses some great metaphors to talk about her subject. It may be eye-opening for people who haven't come across caste in their education so far. But, I expected a lot more from this book. Or better said, something else. ( )
1 vota ZeljanaMaricFerli | Mar 4, 2024 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 163 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A memorable, provocative book that exposes an American history in which few can take pride.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaKirkus Reviews (May 30, 2020)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (3 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Wilkerson, Isabelautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Miles, RobinNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Because even if I should speak,
no one would believe me,
And they would not believe me precisely because
they would know that that I said was true.
--------James Baldwin
If the majority knew of the root of this evil,

then the road to its cure would not be long.


-------------------Albert Einstein
Dedicatòria
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To the memory of my parents
who survived the caste system
and to the memory of Brett
who defied it
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In the haunted summer of 2016, an unaccustomed heat wave struck the Siberian tundra on the edge of what the ancients once called the End of the Land.
There is a famous black-and-white photograph from the era of the Third Reich. (The Man in the Crowd)
We look to the night sky and see the planets and stars, the distant lights as specks of salt, single grains of sand, and are reminded of how small we are, how insignificant our worries of the moment, how brief our time on this planet, and we wish to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to magnify our significance, to matter somehow as more than the dust that we are. (Epilogue)
In the spring and into the summer of 2022, an unholy heat arose on the surface of the planet and in the hearts of men. (Afterword)
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Hitler had made it to the chancellery in a brokered deal that conservative elites agreed to only because they were convinced they could hold him in check and make use of him for their own political aims. They underestimated his cunning and overestimated his base of support, which had been the very reasson the had felt they needed him in the first place. At the height of their power at the polls, the Nazis never pulled the majority they coveted and drew only 38 percent of the vote in the country's last free and fair elections at the onset of their twelve-year reign. The old guard did not foresee, or chose not to see, that his actual mission was "to exploit the methods of democracy to destroy democracy." (p 82)
Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred, it is not necessarily personal. It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things.
The human impulse to create hierarchies runs across societies and cultures, predates the idea of race, and thus is farther reaching, deeper, and older than raw racism and the comparatively new division of humans by skin color.
Except that this was and is our country and this was and is who we are, whether we have known or recognized it or not.
The most respected and beneficent of society people oversaw forced labor camps that were politely called plantations, concentrated with hundreds of unprotected prisoners, whose crime was that they were born with dark skin. Good and loving mothers and fathers, pillars of their communities, personally, inflicted, gruesome tortures upon their fellow human beings.
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""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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