White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement--and How I Got Out

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As featured on Fresh Air and the TED stage, a stunning look inside the world of violent hate groups by a onetime white supremacist leader who, shaken by a personal tragedy, abandoned his destructive life to become an anti-hate activist.

Raw, inspiring, and heartbreakingly candid, White American Youth explores why so many young people lose themselves in a culture of hatred and violence and how the criminal networks they forge terrorize and divide our nation. The story begins when Picciolini found himself stumbling through high school, struggling to find a community among other fans of punk rock music. There, he was recruited by a notorious white power skinhead leader and encouraged to fight with the movement to "protect the white race from extinction." Soon, he had become an expert in racist philosophies, a terror who roamed the neighborhood, quick to throw fists. When his mentor was sent to prison, sixteen-year-old Picciolini took over the man's role as the leader of an infamous neo-Nazi skinhead group.

Seduced by the power he accrued through intimidation, and swept up in the rhetoric he had adopted, Picciolini worked to grow an army of extremists. He used music as a recruitment tool, launching his own propaganda band that performed at white power rallies around the world. But slowly, as he started a family of his own and a job that for the first time brought him face to face with people from all walks of life, he began to recognize the cracks in his hateful ideology. Then a shocking loss at the hands of racial violence changed his life forever, and Picciolini realized too late the full extent of the harm he'd caused.

"Simultaneously horrifying and redemptive" (AlterNet), White American Youth examines how radicalism and racism can conquer a person's way of life and how we can work together to stop those ideologies from tearing our world apart.

*An earlier edition of this book was published as Romantic Violence
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About the author

Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, a public speaker, author, peace advocate, and a former violent extremist. After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and 90s, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. Christian earned a degree in international relations from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a digital media and counter-extremism consulting firm. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for directing and producing an anti-hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from violence-based extremist groups. Christian's life since leaving the white-supremacist movement over two decades ago has been dedicated to helping others overcome hate through such organizations as Life After Hate and ExitUSA. He now leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement platform, helping people exit hate movements and other violent ideologies. He has spoken all over the world, including on the TED stage, sharing his unique and extensive knowledge, teaching all who are willing to learn about building greater peace through empathy and compassion.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette Books
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Published on
Oct 24, 2017
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780316522915
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Biography & Autobiography / Political
Biography & Autobiography / Social Activists
True Crime / Organized Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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