Hierarchy. Sometimes all it takes is a small shift in perspective for the lightbulbs to shine on a complicated subject. In her finely written book titled, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson describes the ways in which the United States has established a hierarchy that explains many of our historic and contemporary divisions and challenges. Having studied global caste systems thoroughly, Wilkerson examines how life in America reflects the eight pillars typical of caste alignments. Under caste, it is necessary to have a bottom rung of society, creating a comparison of superiority and inferiority. The system is meant to maintain status and caste so that those defined as inferior remain on the bottom rung. Her stories are vivid and gripping, and by moving away from the loaded language of racism, she may help many readers alter perspective and think about issues differently and accept responsibility to move society forward.
Rating: Five-star (I love it)