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Isabel Wilkerson on the Hidden Power of Caste

Isabel Wilkerson sets out the eight pillars which she believes connect caste systems across civilizations, and shows how our own era of intensifying conflict and upheaval is a consequence of caste

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The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power – which groups have it and which do not.’ – Isabel Wilkerson

Race, class, gender. These are the categories that are commonly thought to define our lives. But Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson argues that ultimately the determining factor in societies is a more powerful, unspoken system of divisions: caste. On August 17 Wilkerson comes to Intelligence Squared to talk about this hidden phenomenon, which she sets out in her acclaimed new book, Caste: The Lies That Divide Us. Linking America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson will reveal how our world has been shaped by caste – and how its rigid, arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today.

Wilkerson set out the eight pillars which she believes connect caste systems across civilizations, and showed how our own era of intensifying conflict and upheaval is a consequence of caste. She demonstrated its surprising impact on health, and explored its effects on culture and politics.

Wilkerson was joined in conversation by writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, and together they explored how our societies can move beyond their artificial divisions towards a freer and fairer world.

Praise for Caste:

‘It is the definitive, end all, be all, say all, about what’s happening right now.’ – Oprah Winfrey

‘A transformative new framework through which to understand identity and injustice.’ – TIME


Speakers

Speaker

Isabel Wilkerson

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and bestselling author


American journalist and author whose 2010 book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, won the US National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and a place on The New York Times’s list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. In 1994, while Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times, she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Her writing has garnered praise from Toni Morrison, Gay Talese and Jill Lepore, and comparisons to writers like John Steinbeck and Zora Neale Hurston. 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.
Chair

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Writer and broadcaster


Yassmin is a broadcaster, writer and social advocate. She is author of You Must Be Layla and the critically acclaimed essays It's Not About The Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa.

 

Speakers are subject to change.