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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents Audiobook, by Isabel Wilkerson
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Author: Isabel Wilkerson Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2020 ISBN: 9780593339800
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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.   “[Caste] should be at the top of every American’s reading list.”—Chicago Tribune “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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Wilkerson’s work is the missing puzzle piece of our country’s history. The American Prospect
  • “[Wilkerson’s] closeness with, and profound affection for, her subjects reflect her deep immersion in their stories and allow the reader to share that connection. Janet Maslin, The New York Times

    “Wilkerson combines impressive research . . . with great narrative and literary power. . . . She humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.
  • What she’s done. . . is stow memory in amber. Lynell George, Los Angeles Times
  • “What Wilkerson urges . . . isn’t argument at all; it’s compassion. Hush, and listen. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
  • An August 2020 LibraryReads Pick

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Professor Scholar | 11/19/2020

    " Outstanding "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Raj | 9/27/2020

    " Trash. Political garbage. Could have been an interesting discussion but ... nope. Left wing blind one sided crap. "

About the Author

Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and recipient of the National Humanities Medal, is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste. Her debut work won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was named to Time’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s and the New York Times’s list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. She has taught at Princeton, Emory, and Boston Universities and has lectured at more than two hundred other colleges and universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia.

About the Narrator

Robin Miles, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, an Audie Award for directing, and many Earphones Awards. Her film and television acting credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in theater studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.