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3+ Works 9,538 Members 348 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Isabel Wilkerson was born in Washington, D.C. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Howard University. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a show more Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. Her first book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Hillman Book Prize, the 2011 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, the Independent Literary Award for Nonfiction, and the NAACP Image Award for best literary debut. She has been a journalism professor at Princeton University and Emory University. She is currently Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Isabel Wilkerson

Associated Works

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race (2016) — Contributor — 863 copies
Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study (1992) — Contributor, some editions — 517 copies


Common Knowledge



The three star rating is not so much about Wilkerson's arguments about caste systems. Instead, the rating represents the organization of the book. After a general discussion, Wilkerson makes a case for eight pillars that underlie caste systems. Within each of these chapters the author bounces back and forth between her ideas about an American caste system and the caste system in India. Interspersed throughout are quotes from historians and sociologists to support her assertions. I found all this non-linear bouncing back and forth between countries and different caste systems to be distracting. I think it took away from Wilkerson's message. That is just my perspective and I realize many other readers were fine with the structure of the book.… (more)
Ann_R | 164 other reviews | May 25, 2024 |
A disturbing look at the way Caste affects a society, especially the U.S. Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people , how America today and throughout history has been shaped by a hidden caste system
, a rigid hierarchy of huma. 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 system of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson 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 outcasting of 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 surprising health costs of caste, in depression, and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics.… (more)
creighley | 164 other reviews | May 13, 2024 |
This is a tough read, not because it is difficult, but because the subject matter is so difficut to read about. There is so much to be taken from it, but one thing that has stuck is how there are no statues of Nazis in Germany, but we have (or had) plenty of statues of Confederates. They have monuments to the Jews, but we have had few monuments until very recently to the slaves.
spounds | 164 other reviews | Apr 24, 2024 |
It’s a tough read, but needs to be read by everyone
corliss12000 | 164 other reviews | Mar 16, 2024 |



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½ 4.4

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