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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

" 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)
"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Could not put it down.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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good stuff

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Megan
  • Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 03-31-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gr8 Reading...

Another great Book on par with "Romantic Violence". Informative, Recommended reading.
Thank you Mr. Picciolini!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not an easy read, an important read.

Christian's life and mine have no parallels. What drew me to his book was the need to understand where such vile hatred could be created. It was this type of ignorance and hatred that led another neo-Nazi, white supremacist to murder my father and son. Every day we miss my father and son we also strive to make good things happen in our world. I was glad I listened to every word in the book from Christian. He is making good happen with the truth about his life in hatred and his journey to peace.

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Inspiring, heartfelt.

This book is a gift to the world. I am fortunate to never have been sucked into racist ideology in any explicit way, but this book reminds me how it affects us all. We all have poisonous thoughts sometimes, and not acting on them is not enough, we need to identify and recognize them and compensate for the negative ways they affect us by acknowledging our prejudices. Even though we didn’t intentionally put them there, we must take responsibility for them. Then we must act in ways to counteract them, taking actions that promote empathy, compassion, equality. There is plenty of work to be done. Thank you Christian (and Joan) for this compelling story, this reminder of how close we all are to hate and how critical it is to fight against that hate rather than let it allow US to fight on ITS behalf, to the detriment of ourselves and all those around us. (Saved with help from Joan Jett. Shit. Lucky duck!) Seriously, though, I’m going to check out your organization on-line, and I’m grateful to you for allowing your story to become a little part of me, to give fuel to the humility and determination it takes to act in ways that are truly loving, and that recognize our oneness. Peace to you, my brother.

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  • Richard
  • 04-12-18

Good message

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

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  • Emmanuel
  • 03-29-18

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.