BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘Caste’ by Isabel Wilkerson

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it:

‘Caste’ by Isabel Wilkerson

While not as linear as her Pulitzer-award winning The Warmth of Other Suns, this critical historical document should be added to every high school curriculum. Wilkerson, a brilliant writer and researcher, goes beyond condemning racism, to identifying the status of American lives as a caste system, with the status of Black people similar to India’s Dalit (Untouchables) and with strong parallels to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. The most galvanizing section is when she recounts how Nazi leadership used American law to determine their own “racial purity” standards – BUT EVEN HITLER REJECTED THE “ONE DROP” RULE. It’s also got helpful anecdotes from Wilkerson’s own life illustrating that what are called “microaggressions” are anything but micro. And for those of you have asked, “Why do they vote against their own interests?” – there’s an answer here. So many fine passages that I could just quote the entire book, but instead, you MUST read it.

Quote: “It turns out that everyone benefits when society meets the needs of the disadvantaged.”

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