NMC Library
Wilkerson, Isabel.

Caste : the origins of our discontents / Isabel Wilkerson. - First edition. - xvii, 476 pages ; 25 cm.

"Oprah's Book Club 2020"--Dust jacket.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 443-453) and index.

The man in the crowd -- Toxins in the permafrost and heat rising all around. The afterlife of pathogens ; The vitals of history ; An old house and an infrared light ; An American untouchable ; An invisible program -- The arbitrary construction of human divisions. A long-running play and the emergence of caste in America ; "The container we have built for you" ; The measure of humanity ; Through the fog of Delhi to the parallels in India and America ; The Nazis and the acceleration of caste ; The evil of silence -- The eight pillars of caste. The foundations of caste: the origins of our discontents ; Divine will and the laws of nature ; Heritability ; Endogamy and the control of marriage and mating ; Purity versus pollution ; Occupational hierarchy: the Jatis and the Mudsill ; Dehumanization and stigma ; Terror as enforcement, cruelty as a means of control ; Inherent superiority versus inherent inferiority -- The tentacles of caste. Brown eyes versus blue eyes ; Central miscasting ; Dominant group status threat and the precarity of the highest rung ; A scapegoat to bear the sins of the world ; The insecure alpha and the purpose of an underdog ; The intrusion of caste in everyday life ; The urgent necessity of a bottom rung ; Last place anxiety: packed in a flooding basement ; On the early front lines of caste ; Satchel Paige and the illogic of caste -- The consequences of caste. The euphoria of hate ; The inevitable narcissism of caste ; The German girl with the dark, wavy hair ; The Stockholm syndrome and the survival of the subordinate caste ; Shock troops on the borders of higherarchy ; Cortisol, telomeres, and the lethality of caste -- Backlash. A change in the script ; Turning point and the resurgence of caste ; The symbols of caste ; Democracy on the ballot ; The price we pay for a caste system -- Awakening. Shedding the sacred thread ; The radicalization of the dominant caste ; The heart is the last frontier -- Epilogue: a world without caste.

""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"--

9780593230251 0593230256


Ethnicity--United States.
Power (Social sciences)--United States.
Caste--United States.
Social stratification--United States.

United States--Race relations.

HT725 .U6 / W555 2020

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