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.