Original Proposal

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johnkarls
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Original Proposal

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Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents - Oprah’s Book Club
Originally Posted by johnkarls » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:39 pm – 173 views in Sec. 3 (Possible Topics For Future Meetings) Before Transplanted Here

"Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson – Instant NY Times Bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club Selection

I propose that we read “Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House 8/4/2020 – 388 pages sans notes and index – $12.21 + shipping or $13.99 Kindle from Amazon.com).

After all, we have continuously referred to “America’s 30% Permanent Under-Caste” which the U.S. Government continually and consistently reports is illiterate as defined by the ability to read the warning label on a can of rat poison.

In doing so, we have over the years blamed America’s “Apartheid” K-12 Public Education System – which is fairly close to the title of one of Jonathan Kozol’s dozen or so award-winning books on American public schools –

“The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” (Random House 2005) –

which include, inter alia –

Death at an Early Age (1967)
The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home (1975)
Illiterate America (1986)
Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988)
Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools (1991)
Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995)
Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope (2000)
Letters to a Young Teacher (2007)
Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (2012)

HOWEVER, we now have the opportunity to witness the case being prosecuted by a distinguished black woman who began her illustrious career as Editor-In-Chief of her college newspaper while graduating from Washington DC’s Howard University, perhaps the nation’s best-known and most-prestigious HBCU (“Historically-Black College/University”).

[Please see below her bio chronicling how she continued from triumph to triumph!!!]


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Book Description per Amazon.com (usually quoting from a book’s fly cover)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

“An instant American classic.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”

In this brilliant 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 American life today.


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Author Bio per Amazon.com

Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, the New York Times bestseller that tells the story of the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. Her second book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, is forthcoming from Random House in August 2020.

For The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

WARMTH was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times' 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon's 5 Best Books of the Year and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and over a dozen others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times Magazine named Warmth to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.

The Great Migration was a leaderless quest for freedom and one of the biggest underrecognized stories of the 20th Century. From 1915 to 1970, six million African-Americans fled the Jim Crow South in what became one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. It changed the country, North and South. It brought us John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Bill Russell, Motown, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama -- all children or grandchildren of the Great Migration. It changed the social, cultural and political landscape of the United States, with consequences that persist to the current day.

Wilkerson 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 Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."

She has appeared on national programs such as "Fresh Air with Terry Gross," CBS's "60 Minutes," NBC's "Nightly News," "The PBS News Hour," MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell," "The Charlie Rose Show," NPR's "On Being with Krista Tippett," the BBC and others. She has taught at Princeton, Emory and Boston universities and has lectured at more than 200 other colleges and universities across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.


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Book Review Excerpts

“Magnificent . . . a trailblazing work on the birth of inequality . . . Caste offers a forward-facing vision. Bursting with insight and love, this book may well help save us.”
—O: The Oprah Magazine

“Extraordinary . . . one of the most powerful nonfiction books I’d ever encountered . . . an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far. . . .Caste deepens our tragic sense of American history. It reads like watching the slow passing of a long and demented cortege. . . . It’s a book that seeks to shatter a paralysis of will. It’s a book that changes the weather inside a reader.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“[Caste] should be at the top of every American’s reading list.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Wilkerson’s book is a powerful, illuminating and heartfelt account of how hierarchy reproduces itself, as well as a call to action for the difficult work of undoing it.”
—The Washington Post

“It is bracing to be reminded with such precision that our country was built through genocide and slavery. But Ms. Wilkerson has also provided a renewed way of understanding America’s longest, fiercest trouble in all its complexity. Her book leaves me both grateful and hopeful. I gulped it down.”
—Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains

“Like Martin Luther King, Jr. before her, Isabel Wilkerson has traveled the world to study the caste system and has returned to show us more clearly than ever before how caste is permanently embedded in the foundation and unseen structural beams of this old house called America. Isabel Wilkerson tells this story in prose that is so beautiful, the only reason to pause your reading is to catch your breath. You cannot understand America today without this book.”
—Lawrence O'Donnell

“This enthralling exposé deserves a wide and impassioned readership.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Similar to her previous book, the latest by Wilkerson is destined to become a classic, and is urgent, essential reading for all.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“This is a brilliant book, well timed in the face of a pandemic and police brutality that cleave along the lines of a caste system.”
—Booklist (starred review)

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