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Breaking Hate

Breaking Hate

Confronting the New Culture of Extremism

A stunning exploration of how to heal a nation reeling from extremist violence from a viral TED speaker and onetime white-supremacist leader who now work as a peace activist disengaging hateful radicals.

At fourteen, Christian Picciolini was recruited by a now notorious skinhead leader and encouraged to fight with the movement to “protect the white race from extinction.” Soon, he had become an expert in racist ideology, a neo-Nazi terror who roamed the neighborhood, quick to throw fists. By the time he left the movement years later and was able to see clearly for the first time, Picciolini found that his life was in shambles and the nation around him was coming apart.

Told with startling intimacy and compassion, BREAKING HATE is the inside story of how extremists have taken the reins of our political discourse and a guide to how everyday Americans can win it back. The forces pushing to polarize and radicalize us are many–from fake news to coded language to Russian trolls to a White House that often aims to inflame rather than to heal. Increasingly, the information with which we construct our world views is segregated by social media stars and advertisers with murky motives to validate our worst impulses. As Picciolini demonstrates, our modern world systematically normalizes extremism in such a way that we grow blind to it, only recognizing it in the wake of tragedy.

Drawing on profiles of extremists that he works to free from violent ideology and on his own painful history leading and then escaping from an infamous neo-Nazi group, BREAKING HATE explains why terrorism and violence have come to characterize our daily lives and why that doesn’t need to be the case.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations

On Sale: February 25th 2020

Price: $28 / $35 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9780316522939

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Gripping and timely...Written with authority and first-hand experience...Breaking Hate is filled with rare insights that put today's rise of white supremacy into perspective-and shows us how to stop it."—Ali Soufan, former FBI special agent and New York Times bestselling author of Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State
"Riveting, horrifying, and hopeful, Breaking Hate provides a careful and detailed account of how to stop society's death spiral into extremism, and when we need it most urgently."—S.E. Cupp, nationally syndicated columnist and CNN host and author of Losing Our Religion
"At a time when the bonds of multiracial democracy and pluralism are being torn by political strife, growing hate group activity, and acts of white-supremacist terrorism, Christian Picciolini provides us a roadmap to a new sense of community and justice. As a former extremist himself, Picciolini knows what turns people into ticking time bombs and what it takes to defuse them; and more to the point, what it takes to prevent still more fuses from being lit. In Breaking Hate, he combines a keen sense of history with human psychology, sharp storytelling and the kind of hopefulness it will take to emerge from our current moment a healthier and more just nation. In this impressive volume he provides a critical glimpse inside the broken humanity of not only individual extremists, but the brokenness of America itself."—Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
"Christian Picciolini changed the way I see the seduction of hate groups and the vulnerable people lured into them. Let him do that for you, too."—Sarah Silverman, comedian
"A rare, exquisitely narrated tale of journeys to the edge and back, Breaking Hate illuminates a creeping danger that threatens to polarize American society and split it asunder. It documents Christian Picciolini's inspired efforts to turn back a tide of hate about to engulf us all. A must-read for anyone who cares to understand what feeds violent extremism, and how it can be countered."—Dr. Arie Kruglanski, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland and author of The Three Pillars of Radicalization
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