Reviews

  • Magnificent. Profound. Eye-opening. Sobering. Hopeful.

    Oprah Winfrey
  • Extraordinary ... an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far ... It made the back of my neck prickle from its first pages, and that feeling never went away. Wilkerson has written a closely-argued book that largely avoids the word "racism," yet stares it down with more humanity and rigor than nearly all but a few books in our literature. 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
  • Isabel Wilkerson's Caste is probably the most important piece of non-fiction published this year.

    Sarah Hughes, i News
  • An expansive interrogation of racism, institutionalised inequality and injustice ... This is an American reckoning and so it should be. Wilkerson activates history in her pages, bringing all its horror and possibility to light. It is a painfully resonant book and could not have come at a more urgent time.

    Fatima Bhutto, Guardian
  • Surprising and arresting... the idea of caste challenges fundamental notions of America as a meritocratic society ... Wilkerson's epilogue feels like a prayer for a country in pain, offering new directions through prophetic new language

    Bilal Qureshi, Washington Post
  • Persuasive and unsettling ... beneath the veneer of meritocratic idealism lie deeper layers of the American psyche where white supremacy still reigns. But the case Wilkerson puts forward is inspiring and hopeful ... caste can be dismantled, setting everyone free.

    Ashish Ghadiali, Observer
  • Important and timely ... America does not merely have a problem with "race", but it is also haunted by the ugly issue of caste, a set of embedded practices that presume it is natural - and correct - to divide humans into different groups and keep them in a hierarchy. ... If repudiation of past assumptions is the first step towards healing, Wilkerson's book offers a powerful frame for this. It is essential reading for anybody who feels angry, guilty or threatened by the tangled issue of "race" in America today.

    Gillian Tett, Financial Times
  • There is a deeper and more intractable system that hides behind the chimera of race, and that system is properly called American caste ... 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.

    Kenneth W. Mack, Washington Post
  • 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
  • Wilkerson's genius as a writer is her ability to tell you the big story of what happened, but to make that story matter by linking it to the lives of those who survived it. That is, to me, her unique contribution: what in the hands of another writer would feel like an abstraction attains, in her work, the vividness and emotional power of lived experience.

    Ezra Klein, Vox

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