Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents was released today and it’s already one of the most-talked about books of the year.
And now, on top of a rave review from the New York Times, the book is the latest pick for Oprah's Book Club.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents compares the caste system in India and Nazi Germany to the social structure of today.
In an interview with CBS’ Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey told Wilkerson her book "might be the most important book" she’s chosen.
Wilkerson said, “This is not a book that I wanted to write…This is a book that compelled me, that called to me that I felt I had no choice but to write it. And so I ended up working on this because it seemed that there were things going on that only Caste could really explain.”
She continued, “We have actually made so much progress when it comes to things that we consider to be traditional, old school racism of the Klansmen of, you know, the late-19th century and early 20th-century… And so now we are in a very different place.”
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The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist also added, “Caste is something that we apply to India, the original caste system. So that was the first place I was going to look. And then after Charlottesville, Charlottesville pulled me into another direction, because in that moment we saw the symbolism of both the Confederacy and Nazi symbols coming together, converging, and the ralliers who had themselves made this connection. And that propelled me, inspired me, to go and look at the history of Germany.”
Oprah has vowed to send 500 copies of the book to mayors, CEOs and college professors around the country.
Watch the CBS interview below:
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