Adult Book Club Discussion: "Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson

Please join us for the next meeting of our Adult Book Club scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, at 1:00 p.m.  We will be discussing the book "Caste" by 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 American life today.


Copies of the book are available at the Library.  Please contact the Library for meeting location.

What:  Adult Book Club
When:  Tuesday, December 14, at 1:00 p.m.
Where:  Varies (please contact the Library for location)

East Troy Lions Public Library Adult Book Club Reading List 2021 

January: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

February:  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
March:  The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg

April:   Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

May:    Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by OlgaTokarczuk

June:   The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

July:  Less by Andrew Greer

August: The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee

September:  The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

October:  American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings
November:  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

December:  Caste by Isabel Wilkerson