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Publisher's Summary

A stunning look inside the world of violent hate groups by a onetime white supremacist leader who, shaken by a personal tragedy, realized the error of his ways and abandoned his destructive life to become an anti-hate activist.

As he stumbled through high school, struggling to find a community among other fans of punk rock music, Christian Picciolini was recruited by a now 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 arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison, 16-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.

Raw, inspiring, and heartbreakingly candid, White American Youth tells the fascinating story of how 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Christian Picciolini (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Christian's journey exemplifies how hate and violence are unsustainable, and tolerance, forgiveness, and love are the only ways forward. If Christian can change, there is hope for all humankind - a compelling and extraordinary story." (Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival)
" White American Youth takes the reader into the depths of the hate movement and sheds a valuable light on the mindset of those who can be lured into this dark world. Christian's astonishing change of heart is a testament to our endless capacity for personal transformation." (Lonnie Nasatir, regional director, Anti-Defamation League)

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Well worth the read

Fantastic book, coming from similar circumstances in my youth & seeing many of my friends change their views over the years. Its wonderful to know the human condition isn't static & will always have room to grow if we allow the change to happen. To me much of the racism comes from fear, anger isolation & projection into the community whether it be to control or fill a deep personal emotion gap. By looking towards the commonality rather than the differences is the road to our survival. Christians empathetic idea of seeking this understanding & showing the hard line ultra right guidance I feel is the way forward, no matter how long it takes & a great path. After all the more of us the less of them. As an anti racist even though I have been conflicted in thought about what to do with these ultra violent fascists leaning more to violence to meet violence most of my life. I take solace in his preference for education, empathy, understanding & learning. A highly recommendable path to an inclusive society! Great work brother!

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An insightful look

The hate filled white supremacy movement is often obscured by so many factors. What the author does here is expose to the public the circumstances under which otherwise ordinary young men can become twisted and adoring of a hateful ideology with exploits them as much as it abuses everyone it condemns.

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  • andrew dolski
  • 19-01-2018

Can I give this a 10?

Well written, raw, and real. Congrats Christian for overcoming the hate that is so deeply rooted in so many.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pen Name
  • 29-12-2017

A book truly needed in this time

What this book says if what everyone needs to hear. What Christian says of his life story offers lessons literally everyone can learn from and hopefully take to heart in order to make this place better and happier. Amazing work!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-04-2018

Could not put it down.

Enlightening and undeniably real. Italian-American until he's accepted in to whiteness, this speaks volumes about the culture.

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  • Benjamin
  • 12-04-2018

good stuff

Great book , I recommend to everyone. Though heartbreaking at times and horrifying at others I think it gives hope.

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  • colin
  • 09-04-2018

Important but hard

I think this is a really important story for everyone to hear! And it’s told really well but it hurts it really, really hurts to hear

2 people found this helpful

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  • philliesrule54
  • 02-04-2018

Moving memoir.

This was an honest & fantastic read. It is read by the author, which I appreciate. The insecurity behind the violence & hate has a profound & moving truth embedded in the prose.

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  • Megan
  • 31-03-2018

An important and intriguing listen.

At times, hearing this mans (and out culture’s) history was painful and diffuse to listen to. It is an important book, and I am grateful he had the courage and ability to write such an important book. I recommend this full heartedly.

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  • TZaal
  • 22-01-2018

excellent read

I prefer the earlier version of this book. Still a good read. recommended reading.

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  • John Carey
  • 28-11-2020

Brutally honest and insightful

insightful personal journey detailing the journey from anti establishment punk rock into the depths of white power street gang politics. ultimately redeeming story as the disillusionment and emptiness forces acknowledgement and reconciliation for the protagonist. very brave personal story.

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  • Frank
  • 20-09-2019

Quit Lying about Sam Harris

Admit it. You said some things that turned out to be untrue while recording with Sam. Perhaps you didn't know they were untrue, but when asked for evidence, you doubled down. Sam had no choice but to edit out the unverifiable statements, if for no other reason than to avoid being sued for libel. Now, you're telling people he's racist? I admire your work a great deal, but I think you owe Sam an apology for telling people he's racist. He's absolutely not racist. He seeks truth, and hates liars, as evidenced by his book Lying. Tell the truth. Admit that you made a mistake by saying unverifiable things, and another mistake when you lied about his character.

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  • Richard
  • 12-04-2018

Good message

The message is good. But far too much of this is just him talking about fights he in.

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