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THE TIME NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Required reading for all of humanity' Oprah Winfrey 'It could not have come at a more urgent time' Fatima Bhutto, Guardian 'An instant American classic' Dwight Garner, The New York Times 'The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power - which groups have it and which do not' Beyond race or class, our lives are defined by a powerful, unspoken system of divisions. In Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives an astounding portrait of this hidden phenomenon. Linking America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson reveals how our world has been shaped by caste - and how its rigid, arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today. With clear-sighted rigour, Wilkerson unearths the eight pillars that connect caste systems across civilizations, and demonstrates how our own era of intensifying conflict and upheaval has arisen as a consequence of caste. Weaving in stories of real people, she shows how its insidious undertow emerges every day; she documents its surprising health costs; and she explores its effects on culture and politics. Finally, Wilkerson points forward to the ways we can - and must - move beyond its artificial divisions, towards our common humanity. Beautifully written and deeply original, Caste is an eye-opening examination of what lies beneath the surface of ordinary lives. No one can afford to ignore the moral clarity of its insights, or its urgent call for a freer, fairer world.
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If you haven't read Caste yet, you absolutely must. -- Edward Enninful * Vogue * Powerful and timely ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough -- Barack Obama Magnificent. Profound. Eye-opening. Sobering. Hopeful. -- Oprah Winfrey Caste forced me to rethink how deeply embedded our unexamined preconceptions are -- Bill Clinton Extraordinary ... an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far ... It's a book that changes the weather inside a reader. -- Dwight Garner * The New York Times * Such is Wilkerson's gift as a writer that she leaves you looking at the world differently. -- Afua Hirsch * Vogue * Caste will spur readers to think and to feel in equal measure -- Kwame Anthony Appiah * New York Times Book Review * Isabel Wilkerson's Caste is probably the most important piece of non-fiction published this year. -- Sarah Hughes * i News * Surprising and arresting... Like a prayer for a country in pain, offering new directions through prophetic new language -- Bilal Qureshi * Washington Post * A consummate storyteller ... Isabel Wilkerson has written important book that reminds us of a comradeship of interwoven histories. * LA Review of Books * An expansive interrogation of racism, institutionalised inequality and injustice ... This is an American reckoning and so it should be. Wilkerson activates history in her pages, bringing all its horror and possibility to light. It is a painfully resonant book and could not have come at a more urgent time. -- Fatima Bhutto * Guardian * Persuasive and unsettling ... The case Wilkerson puts forward is inspiring and hopeful ... caste can be dismantled, setting everyone free. -- Ashish Ghadiali * Observer * Important and timely ... If repudiation of past assumptions is the first step towards healing, Wilkerson's book offers a powerful frame for this. It is essential reading for anybody who feels angry, guilty or threatened by the tangled issue of "race" in America today. -- Gillian Tett * Financial Times * Searching, gorgeously crafted... Caste is a luminous read, bearing its own torch of righteous wrath in a diamond-hard prose that will be admired and studied by future generations. -- Hamilton Cain * Star Tribune * A powerful, illuminating and heartfelt account of how hierarchy reproduces itself, as well as a call to action for the difficult work of undoing it. -- Kenneth W. Mack * Washington Post * Magnificent . . . a trailblazing work on the birth of inequality . . . Caste offers a forward-facing vision. Bursting with insight and love, this book may well help save us * O: The Oprah Magazine * Wilkerson's genius as a writer is her ability to tell you the big story of what happened, but to make that story matter by linking it to the lives of those who survived it ... What in the hands of another writer would feel like an abstraction attains, in her work, the vividness and emotional power of lived experience. -- Ezra Klein * Vox * Haunting yet strangely consoling, in a world defined by its divides, Caste connects. It reveals the 'unseen skeleton' embedded in heinous acts of power but, in evocative prose that is full of poise, reminds us what's possible when people come together. I closed the book feeling enlightened and energised, ready to roll up my sleeves and get on with the good work. -- Johny Pitts Propulsive ... Should be required reading for generations to come. -- Joshunda Sanders * Boston Globe * A transformative new framework through which to understand identity and injustice. -- Justin Worland * TIME * Wonderful ... Prepare to have your mind expanded, your heart break and your head slowly shake by Wilkerson's sublime combination of skilful, analytical dissection and raw, emotional testimony -- Allen Sleith * Belfast Telegraph * Caste makes a convincing, often scorching case that caste was there at the birth of the nation, and we wrestle every day with that legacy. It upsets the already rickety national myth tha
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns. Her debut work won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was included in Time's 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s and in The New York Times's list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. She has taught at Princeton, Emory, and Boston Universities and has lectured at more than two hundred other colleges and universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia.