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Welcome to the Palestine Public Library. We offer access to ideas, information, and experiences through a variety of materials to enrich the lives of residents of Palestine and Anderson County, Texas. Our collection includes high-interest magazines, newspapers, books, audiobooks, DVDs, a Spanish collection, and a Special Collections room with rare books on genealogy and local history. Patrons can also visit our Digital Branch to check out digital eBooks and audiobooks. 

We offer a story time for children ages 3 - 5 during the school year and Summer Reading Club is available for all ages during the summer. Onsite information services include computer access for all ages, copy, printing, fax and scanning services, and free Wi-Fi connection. Other free online resources include Texshare Databases, E-Sequels and Ancestry Library Edition, and our online library catalog. Visit us onsite and online and find something for everyone.

Hot Titles
Book Jacket
Caste
by Isabel Wilkerson

Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780593230251 The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist chronicles the formation and fortunes of social hierarchy. Caste is principally associated with India, which figures in the book—an impressive follow-up to her magisterial The Warmth of Other Suns—but Wilkerson focuses on the U.S. We tend to think of divisions as being racial rather than caste-based. However, as the author writes, “caste is the infrastructure of our divisions. It is the architecture of human hierarchy, the subconscious code of instructions for maintaining, in our case, a four-hundred-year-old social order.” That social order was imposed on Africans unwillingly brought to this country—but, notes Wilkerson, “caste and race are neither synonymous nor mutually exclusive.” If Africans ranked at the bottom of the scale, members of other ethnic orders, such as Irish indentured servants, also suffered discrimination even if they were categorized as white and thus hierarchically superior. Wilkerson writes that American caste structures were broadly influential for Nazi theorists when they formulated their racial and social classifications; they “knew that the United States was centuries ahead of them with its anti-miscegenation statutes and race-based immigration bans.” Indeed, the Nazi term “untermensch,” or “under-man,” owes to an American eugenicist whose writings became required reading in German schools under the Third Reich, and the distinction between Jew and Aryan owes to the one-drop rules of the American South. If race links closely to caste in much of Wilkerson’s account, it departs from it toward the end. As she notes, the U.S. is rapidly becoming a “majority minority” country whose demographics will more closely resemble South Africa’s than the norms of a half-century ago. What matters is what we do with the hierarchical divisions we inherit, which are not hewn in stone: “We are responsible for ourselves and our own deeds or misdeeds in our time and in our own space and will be judged accordingly by succeeding generations.” A memorable, provocative book that exposes an American history in which few can take pride. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780593396698 Here, Wilkerson reframes the United States' history of racial disparities and racism as a classic caste system, and compares America's caste system with those operating in India and Nazi-era Germany. She identifies the eight "pillars of caste" that can be clearly observed in all three systems. In one very memorable and disturbing passage, she describes how the Jim Crow laws of the American South served as inspiration and model for the anti-Semitic, racist Nuremberg laws enacted in 1935 Germany. Narrator Robin Miles is a perfect choice to read this work. She amplifies and grounds the content with a steady, calm, and clear voice, even when the material is especially chilling and ugly. VERDICT Caste should be required listening/reading for every engaged American. Recommended for all libraries in multiple formats.—Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IAAn enchanting debut romance; Wilkerson's powerful examination of American societyvideo COMINGATTRACTIONSForthcoming Releases on DVD/Blu-ray By Jeff T. Dick, Davenport, IA
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780593230251 In this powerful and extraordinarily timely social history, Pulitzer winner Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns) investigates the origins, evolution, and inner workings of America’s “shape-shifting, unspoken” caste system. Tracking the inception of the country’s race-based “ranking of human value” to the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619, Wilkerson draws on the works of anthropologists, geneticists, and social economists to uncover the arbitrariness of racial divisions, and finds startling parallels to the caste systems of India and Nazi Germany. The Nazis, Wilkerson notes, studied America’s restrictive immigration and anti-miscegenation laws to develop their own racial purity edicts, and were impressed by the “American custom of lynching” and “knack for maintaining an air of robust innocence in the wake of mass death.” While India abolished formal laws that defined its caste systems in the 1940s, and America passed civil rights measures in the ’60s, their respective hierarchies live on, Wilkerson writes, in “hearts and habits, institutions and infrastructures.” Wilkerson cites studies showing that black Americans have the highest rates of stress-induced chronic diseases of all ethnic groups in the U.S., and that a third of African Americans hold antiblack biases against themselves. Incisive autobiographical anecdotes and captivating portraits of black pioneers including baseball pitcher Satchel Paige and husband-and-wife anthropologists Allison and Elizabeth Davis reveal the steep price U.S. society pays for limiting the potential of black Americans. This enthralling exposť deserves a wide and impassioned readership. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners. (Aug.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780593230251 While researching her best-selling The Warmth of Other Suns, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wilkerson realized the importance of social order. In this outstanding work of social history, she explains how a rigid social order, or caste, is about power. Beginning with the first caste system in the United States, which started with slavery in 1619, Wilkerson details how caste would become the cornerstone of U.S. social, political, and economic policy, with whites being dominant, African Americans subordinate, and Native Americans conquered. She shows how immigrants walk into a preexisting hierarchy as they try to integrate into American culture, and how constructing one's white racial identity often means defining oneself from its opposite: Black. Powerful chapters parallel three systems—slavery in the American South, the reign of Nazi Germany, and hierarchies in India—in order to explore how each relied on control, including dehumanization, endogamy, and purity via immigration laws. Wilkerson reminds us that, despite the passage of civil rights legislation, caste endures in infrastructures and institutions, and that the election of Barack Obama was the biggest departure from this system in U.S. history. Incidents of historical and contemporary violence against African Americans resonate throughout this incisive work. VERDICT Similar to her previous book, the latest by Wilkerson is destined to become a classic, and is urgent, essential reading for all.—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780593230251 ldquo;Just as DNA is the code of instructions for cell development, caste is the operating system for economic, political, and social interaction in the United States from the time of its gestation,” asserts Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), which garnered many honors, including the Anisfiled-Wolf Award. She explores slavery and the decimation of Native Americans, the “authoritarian regime” of Jim Crow, and the transformation of European immigrants into whites with caste status. She draws parallels between the U.S. and India, both colonized by Britain, both having achieved independence and developed democracy, yet both saddled with the legacy of severe social stratification. She also explores the history of the Third Reich for lessons on racial separation. Wilkerson details the eight pillars of caste, including divine will, heritability, enforcement by terror, and inherent superiority versus inferiority. Drawing on genetics, anthropology, religion, and economics, Wilkerson examines the history and structure of caste. But she also draws on her exceptional journalistic skills to relate stories of individuals who have suffered disadvantages and humiliation but have triumphed nonetheless. Finally, she offers the prospect for the elimination of a destructive system and recognition of a common humanity that allows us each to be who we are without judgment. This is a brilliant book, well timed in the face of a pandemic and police brutality that cleave along the lines of a caste system.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Warmth of Other Suns topped group read lists everywhere, and Caste will be the book to read in light of current discussions about systemic racism.
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  • Library Hour Change

    Palestine Public Library hours have changed to 10-6 Monday -Friday, 12 - 8 Thursday, Closed Saturday and Sunday.  All library materials can be returned at the book drop by the curb. For more information, please call the library at 903-729-4121. Thank you!

  • Automated Due Date Reminder Call

    An automated phone call system now calls to remind patrons the day before items are due, that their material(s) are due. We hope this automated reminder will help patrons avoid late fees.

     

  • Fine Balance Policy

    The maximum fine threshold is $5.00.  Once the fine threshold has been exceeded, patrons must pay their account in full to restore borrowing privileges.

  • Library Book Drop

     The library book drop is located on the curb just west of the Palestine Mall’s main entrance. It is intended for returning borrowed items when the library is closed.

     

     

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