Member Review

Rising Out of Hatred

Pub Date:

Review by

Erin K, Reviewer

Last updated on 08 Feb 2020

My Recommendation

It's always been fascinating to me to learn about how people become white supremacists or extreme racists.  Then there's always the question of whether it's possible to actually change these people's minds about the views they hold. This non-fiction book is about Derek Black, who grew up in the white supremacist culture and was deemed by many to be the heir to the KKK throne. But when Derek enrolls at a liberal Florida college, his natural kind heart allows him to be exposed to the very people he was taught to spew hate about. With the encouragement and love of minority students who took up the challenge to try and break through to Derek, the young man is eventually able to see how dangerous and ultimately harmful his ideas (and his national influence) were to millions of Americans. I thought Saslow's thorough research helped give background to the rise of white supremacy in the US and its terrifying resurgence during our current president's reign. His in-depth interviews with all of the parties involved provide the reader with a balanced look at a very complicated issue (especially once Derek decides to become open with his new outlook on the world with his racist and extremely conservative family). There were some parts of the book that felt a tad repetitive and it was a little long overall, but ultimately, it's a really powerful read that offers some hope for how to rehabilitate people who are taught to hate.

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