Book Group: Caste (Led by Judy Levin)

Book Group leader Judy Levin  leads a second discussion of the acclaimed nonfiction book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.  (Our first session in December was completely booked!) Participants loved it.

"This book has the reverberating and patriotic slap of the best American prose writing. . . . Wilkerson has written a closely argued book that largely avoids the word 'racism, ' yet stares it down with more humanity and rigor than nearly all but a few books in our literature. . . . It's a book that changes the weather inside a reader." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times 

Space for this virtual book group is limited. Please register by emailing events@thebookstall.com.  Buy the book here

This event is free. In lieu of an admission fee, we'd love it if you'd consider making a donation to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which helps support booksellers in need. The Book Stall is very lucky-- we remain employeed, and thanks to our customers, busy. But other areas of the state and country have been hit hard, and there are indie bookstore workers in desperate need of vital support.  You can donate and learn more about BINC's mission here.

About the book:  Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of America life today.

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 named to Time's 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s and 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.

Event date: 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 9:30am to 10:30am

Event address: 

Online Zoom event!
Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593230251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - August 4th, 2020

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times