In this sweeping, century-spanning history of American race relations, Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson argues that the social caste system in America is not based on skin color but on African Americans’ origin—a “caste” derived from slavery. Wilkerson chronicles two centuries of race relations in America, from the arrival of the first.
For who is this book for ?
Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste” is not an easy read, but it is definitely one that sheds light on the origins of America’s racial divide. The book spans over two hundred years and covers topics like slavery, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement and more. It would be a great choice for anyone interested in history or race relations in America.
- The book is well written and provides a lot of insight into the history of American race relations.
- It offers a fresh perspective on the way race has been used to create social hierarchy in America.
- The author does an excellent job of weaving together personal stories with political and historical analysis.
- It is dense and may be tough to get through for some readers
- It lacks first-hand sources
- The topic has been covered before
Learn more about the author
Isabel Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. She has been a staff writer at The New York Times and Chicago Tribune and is currently an associate professor of Journalism at Columbia University.
“An amazing and heartbreaking history of the institutionalized discrimination against African Americans in America. This should be required reading for everyone.”
“Isabel Wilkerson has written a riveting and landmark history of American race relations. This beautifully written and powerful book tells the story of how black Americans, in successive generations, have struggled against discrimination, violence, poverty, and racism to build their own communities and achieve success. A stunning achievement.”
“This beautifully written and powerful book should be read by everyone who wants to understand the history of our country.”
“Caste is an amazing and important book. Isabel Wilkerson provides a sweeping, century-spanning history of American race relations—from the arrival of the first Africans in chains to recent events like #Oscarssowhite. At its heart, Caste excavates uncomfortable truths about our society while also offering hope that we can build a better future.”