Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Reviewed: 2022-01-02Reminder: I struggle with nonfictions. I'm not an academic reader, I read for escape and entertainment, so nonfictions are not easy for me. When I recommend a nonfiction, especially one dense with 44 pages of footnotes and an 11 page bibliography - then you can feel safe to give it a try if you are also not often a reader of nonfictions.
It took me an entire month to read this. I digested it slowly, around 20 pages at a time every morning over my first cup of coffee. It is dense in history, and at every turn forced me to change my perspective or adjust my understanding of the world. I'll be honest...I often fall into this trap of thinking, "Oh...I've read so much about racism in this country I don't need to read another book on the subject..." and then...OF COURSE...every time I discover there's so much more to learn. I don't know why I keep naively making that same mistake, but I'm glad part of me knows better and pushes me to read new books on the subject. Honestly - I just knew the basics about the history of Nazism and almost nothing about the plights of the Dalits in India...so this book would have still taught me loads even if I had been an expert in racism and caste in America. But, obviously, I'm not so my education covered all three categories of caste. I definitely put this on my Must Read list.
This book is scarier than anything Stephen King has ever written- because it is true. It is mesmerizing and heart wrenching. The information it provides on race in America and caste around the world is invaluable
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