Book Review Two – Caste The Origins Of Our Discontents

Isabel Wilkerson

Caste will be part two of my book review. This book was an excellent read, and the author gives an incredible historical record that is easy to understand, very compelling, and very insightful. The book is more than just informative; it is an excellent account of a topic from a historical perspective in the united states and other cultures. You will think about what you know, what you thought, and just the horrific and sad part of our history was and still is to this day.

No matter what you learn in school about slavery in the united states, nothing details this part of our history quite like this book. In any general history class, even in college, unless you are a history major, will you get this information or detail. This part of our history comes to light in shocking facts in this book.  Caste should be mandatory reading from highschool through any college course.

The author provides precise details and events on how the cast system is embedded into American culture. How it relates to the ancient caste system of India, and how the Natzi’s before coming to power how they studied the American caste system to control and ultimately try to eliminate a whole race of people.

Some of this book can be hard to read as you learn that the caste system in this country controls based on the color of a person’s skin, which made it the most controlling cast system in the world. The caste system not only put a whole race into a superior position and created division in the races but also created divisions within the black community.

The author uses real data and actual events to show how the caste system encompasses racism. Even though we have come a long way in race relations, the caste system is still a supporting structure that has been in place for over 400 years. Isabel Wilkerson does not present an opinion but details through our laws, even after the civil war, reconstruction, and the Jim Crowe Structure, very little changed. Even today, after the civil rights of the 60’s the structure lives. All of us believe this is not true, but you will see from reading this book, the structure of caste is still present. You see it on the news and in our divided country. It is better, but it does exist.

If you want a more in-depth look at our history, as disturbing as it might be, I would recommend this book. It might be hard to accept, but you will learn something, and if it makes you look at things differently, that can’t hurt.

I am reading another book by this writer, “The Warmth Of Other Suns” It is about the great migration from about 1890 – 1970, The migration of black people from the south to the north. Not that there is an order, but if you choose to read these books, I would read this one first, “The Warmth Of Other Suns.”

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