Persuasion triumphs over ideology in this searching account of a young man questioning his caustic beliefs by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporter Saslow (Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President). Derek Black, son of white nationalist leader Don Black and godson of ex-Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke, was, at the age of 19, a star of the white nationalist movement with a radio show on which he preached racial separatism and claims of white persecution by minorities and Jews. Then in 2010 he began attending the ultra-liberal New College of Florida. His presence, Saslow writes, caused a furor, with many students denouncing and shunning him as a racist, but others reached out: a Jewish student invited him to regular Shabbat dinners, and he began a relationship with a woman who challenged his racial doctrines with scientific studies and demanded that he think about the impact of his views on people he knew. That sustained engagement eventually convinced Black to repudiate his racist views—and forced a wrenching break with his family. Saslow tells this story with an impressive evenhandedness and empathy for everyone involved. The result is a gripping and timely examination of the “alt-right” subculture and the potential for dialogue and moral reasoning to overcome hateful dogmas. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018 Release date: 09/18/2018 Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63795-0
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-1-9848-3359-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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