Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism

Hachette. Feb. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780316522939. $28. POL SCI
Picciolini (White American Youth), head of the Chicago Skinheads for several years until he renounced white supremacy in 1996, now directs the Free Radicals Project, an organization that deprograms “formers,” alt-right members seeking to escape their former lives. Here, the author shares gripping stories of his toughest cases and how he uses identity, community, and purpose to repair his clients’ emotional and physical “potholes.” The most compelling examples include Kassandra, abducted by an undocumented immigrant with the assistance of a Russian troll; Reggie, whose Muslim hatred was shattered following meetings with an Iman; and Daniel, an organizer of the 2017 Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, who met with Susan Bro at a meeting arranged by the author. The mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed at the march in Charlottesville, is also spotlighted. Picciolini faults the Trump administration for encouraging alt-right attacks and withdrawing grant funding for the author’s deprogramming efforts. Picciolini and his family continue to receive death threats from the alt-right.
VERDICT This nail-biting narrative will immerse readers wanting to understand the roots and brutality of white supremacy. It will serve as a helpful resource for counselors seeking anecdotal examples of radical politics in action.
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