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Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

In direct contrast to the myth of the “American Dream,” we live in a society in which factors outside of our control determine our fates. From skin color to zip code, only the lucky or exceptionally determined are able to break free of the invisible chains binding them to their caste.

In Isabel Wilkerson’s latest book, Caste, the Hindu caste system in India is a mirror to reflect how this invisible stratification continues to lock in inequity in the U.S.. This richly historic book uncovers how the Third Reich used the American caste system as a model for their dynasty in Germany.

Then she uses personal stories, her own among them, to outline the harm and costs our caste system has reeked since 1619.

Read the book, then listen to host Aubrey Hicks discuss the book with LaVonna Lewis, Christine Beckman, and Olivia Olson.


Thank you to our co-producers Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz as well as our beloved sound supervisors, The Brothers Hedden. Recorded at the USC Price School.

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