Join cultural historian Lori Rotskoff for a lively, informative book discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed non-fiction book, Caste, published in 2020. Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns, chronicles the formation of an entrenched social hierarchy of human ranking in the United States. Through a deeply researched narrative and immersive stories about real people, Wilkerson reveals how America has been shaped by a hidden caste system. Beyond race, class, or other factors, she argues, a powerful caste system influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, she explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. 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 separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
|Time:||1:00 pm – 2:15 pm|