• Summary of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

  • The Origins of Our Discontents
  • By: Genius Reads
  • Narrated by: Debbie Shocair
  • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Note to listeners: This is an unofficial summary of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste, designed to enrich your listening experience.

Caste is the “foundation of our divisions," Isabel Wilkerson states in Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Standing resembles the bones of an old house, "the studs and joists that we can't find in the physical structures we call home." It is additionally similar to our bones, the auxiliary honesty of our innards generally kept imperceptible without X-beams. Caste or position or rank in this narrative resembles a nitty-gritty clinical history. "Station is a sickness." It is a languid toxic substance, "an intravenous trickle to the psyche," supporting a "safe framework" that is likewise powerless against its "poisons." It is cell, "atomic," "neurological," "cardiovascular." Like subduction-zone action underneath the Earth's surface, rank is "the inconspicuous stirrings of the human heart." 

Caste isn't, in any case, about "emotions or profound quality;" however, it does live on the hearts and propensities. Standing is a show, "a phase of incredible scale" with unremovable outfits and unforeseeable content. Rank is in front of an audience, "an exhibition," and standing is, likewise, by one way or another, "the silent attendant in an obscured theater." It is an enchantment "spell." An enterprise. A Sith Lord. A tall structure with an overwhelmed cellar. Like in The Matrix, "an inconspicuous power of man-made reasoning has overwhelmed the human species." It is a stepping stool, and we exist on its rungs. "Position is structure," whatever that implies correctly. 

©2020 Genius Reads (P)2020 Genius Reads

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Cast Off

This review accurately summarizes the problem and the effects of Racism on populations. It acknowledges that Racism causes us all to be more fearful of each other and therefore unwilling to interact and listen to one another. The summary does not, however, discuss route causes and possible solutions without which the problem of racism in society remains intractable. Sit ins and peaceful demonstrations need a goal and that goal cannot simply be recognition but must focus on solutions. I am craving literature that offers apolitical solutions to the problem of racism and numerous other problems that infect American society today.

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Read the full book

I got about halfway through this “book“ and I could not tell what it was… The opinions of the essayists? A summary of Wilkerson? A political tract? It’s a mess. Just read the book. I listened to “Caste“ and it is fantastic, and also beautifully read.