Book Review: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

caste by isabel wilkerson

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson is a non-fiction book taking a look at the history of the United States of America, specifically racism as a caste system and compares it to other caste systems like those in India and Nazi Germany. Using specific examples from history, Wilkerson takes a hard look at how we got to where we are now.

Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye opening book that everyone should read, and it should be required reading in high school. The amount of history included is amazing. There were things that I already knew and some that I didn't. I think what surprised me the most is how much of the history I learned in school was glossed over. 

One such example of history being glossed over is when people were hanged for their crime that photographers would be on hand for the crowds so each person or family could have their photo taken with the the guilty person hanging from the tree. Then, they would send a postcard of the photo to friends and family. 

The amount of history that I learned about in this book was jaw-dropping, and I am shocked that it wasn't taught in school. It is such important information that it should be included in our textbooks. It only helps people learn, be more aware, and hopefully, learn something from it so that history doesn't continue to repeat itself.

Wilkerson also speaks about immigration throughout the history of the United States and how that plays into the caste system. This just reinforced the information I already knew but is such an important part of our history as well and definitely plays into racism and the caste system that is laid out in Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

Isabel Wilkerson did a phenomenal job with Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, and I definitely think everyone should read this book and should be required reading for all high school students. I gave it five out of five stars. 

If you liked Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson, then we recommend reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.


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