Politician and author of Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society
When it comes to literature on racism in the US, the market feels pretty saturated. At least, that’s what I thought before I read Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Lies That Divide Us (Allen Lane, £20). It is an extraordinarily authentic exposé that uncovers how discrimination, domination and dehumanisation is paralysingly normalised, violently exercised and psychologically ingrained. Lionel Barber offers a scathing yet humorous portrait of power in The Powerful and the Damned (Ebury, £25). The most surprising revelation among his diary entries was the level of disenchantment he expressly holds for our decaying economic system and democracy. And Patrick Vernon and Angelina Osborne’s 100 Great Black Britons (Hachette, £19.99) is an empowering read. For many in Britain, people of African and Caribbean descent in this country have been reduced to three words: the Windrush scandal. It’s refreshing, then, to see somebody celebrate the role that black Britons have played in this island’s long and complicated history.