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The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  988 ratings  ·  170 reviews
At a moment when we are facing an epidemic of incivility and hate, popular CNN commentator Sally Kohn sets out to discover why we hate and how we can inoculate ourselves.

Divisive political speech, online trolling, and hate crimes are escalating, and in our current political climate so many of us are seething at “the other side.” As a progressive commentator on Fox News an
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Algonquin Books
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Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guild to Repairing our Humanity by Sally Kohn was a hard book to read, delving into the roots of hate, and yet I was given hope by stories of recovered haters and the offered toolkit of how to move beyond hate.

I was a freshman in high school in 1967 when my Civics teacher Mr. Warner taught us that there is no such thing as 'race', that we are all one 'race'--the human race. I was a sophomore in college when Dr. Sommers told my anthropology class the story of a commu
Peter Kilkelly
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
At least one of the quotes in this book was fabricated, and the relationship with the person quotes was mischaracterized, and the author admitted she did zero fact checking for the book.

If she made up one quote, probably she made up others, I would stay away from this one.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was convinced after just a few pages that I wasn’t going to learn anything new about hate or human behavior. And while some of Kohn’s references weren’t surprising, the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. And I found myself thinking more about my own prejudices, and also what I didn’t see as harmful biases - using phrases like pennsyltucky for example. I do believe I played a role in where our country finds itself now. I hold myself accountable even if I am not directly responsible ...more
Ashley FL
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Horrifying that this author has admitted to not fact-checking her quotes and, indeed, grossly misquoting people. Just gross.
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: selection of our local book club
A tsunami of liberals “unfriending” Trump supporters followed his 2016 election victory. Sally Kohn's book starts out as an antidote to this virtual ostracism and to escalating levels of virulence. As a television political commentator she was the target of many of these trolls. She launched the novel project of speaking to some of the most egregious ones by phone and was surprised by the connections she was able to forge. Admittedly, her sample size was small, but the experience initiated her e ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Civility should start with fact-checking your sources to make sure that they corroborate your quotes, particularly if you attribute something incendiary to them that could perpetuate racist stereotypes about black women in a book about "repairing our humanity": Not to mention the degree to which this makes her source a potential target of online abuse and possibly much more.

White authors with large platforms have a professional ethical responsibility to
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways.

I was so hype for this book. I wanted to love this book. It had everything I thought would be great. AND THEN I saw the way that Kohn had treated Aminatou Sow and it all fell apart. I was about two chapters in when that broke and then it was just impossible for me to feel the same way about this book. To write a book with the central conceit that "connection will save us" and then to not have connected with people quoted in the boo
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-today-satan
Quotes are fabricated or used without consent. No standard of fact checking. Next!
Hannah Higgins
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Kohn made me think twice about my own biases and the way I treat and approach others, even if most of this thinking is somewhat unconscious. She utilizes scientific studies, current events, humor, and her own life experience to shine a light on so many issues we turn a blind eye to. In Trump's America, I struggle to not hate the haters. Kohn, however, encourages us all to not fight hate with hate, to be conscious of when our biases present themselves, and admit our failures becau ...more
Katie Peach
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to read this book after winning it in a Goodreads Giveaway, but then found out that Sally Kohn misquoted Aminatou Sow. I was really frustrated with that, but decided to read it anyway. While I was still frustrated with Kohn's misquote, I did enjoy the book. I really like the chapter on the Israel/Palestine conflict and the overall message that we should confront hate in our lives. ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
"The bad news is: we all hate. All of us. That includes me--and I'm afraid it also includes you. I promise that although this is a book about hate, it will end on an uplifting and positive note. But we first have to face the hard truth. In different ways and to different degrees, consciously or unconsciously, all of us, in one way or another, sometimes treat other individuals and entire groups of human beings as though they are fundamentally less deserving than we are." (5)


"Attribution error
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a thoughtful and sometimes provocative look at the subject of hate with some strong tactics on how to combat it. I feel that this is a compelling work well worth the read, but it is not without its problems. I guess a couple of people have issues with how she portrayed their actions and their work in the book. That's a shame, and I've deducted a star for that issue, but those sections are brief, and the bulk of the book is quite solid. ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars.

I picked up this book because it relates so closely to the work I do convening people in conversations across deep difference. As a result of that work, I spend a lot of time reading and talking to people about the questions Kohn explores here: How does hate develop? Can we combat it? Should we combat hate? (Or is it an essential tool in the fight against injustice?) Assuming we should, how do we combat it?

Kohn's book provides no new insights, which would be forgivable if she provided
LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)
EDIT: after reading other readers' reviews and the controversy surrounding this book, I am lowering my original rating of 4 stars to 2 stars. I like the idea behind the book, but I can't condone the practice of: misusing other people's words--especially when it can result in abuse for that person, not apologizing to the person for said misuse, and not fact-checking a nonfiction book. As a white woman, I will admit that I fell for the woke white woman trope. I have more work to do in my role as a ...more
Jonathan Maas
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Quick Gameplan to Get the Online World Back on Track

Sally Kohn is the flip side of Glenn Beck.

I read Beck's Addicted to Outrage and saw a right-leaning but still somewhat neutral gameplan for us to stop yelling at each other.

Kohn's The Opposite of Hate is a left-leaning but still somewhat neutral gameplan for us to do the same.

She encounters Twitter trolls and then talks to them. Most are normal people, who never thought anyone could hear them. To them Twitter was talking to themselves, an
Cat Noe
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I wanted to like this, agreed with many of the ideas, but I was both bored and underwhelmed by the execution.

Also... If playing the bully is both the start and end of the story, is this really something to publish?
Andrea McDowell
I have mixed feelings and serious misgivings about this book. This was a library impulse borrow, and was a quick read, but I don't think Kohn made the case she was trying to make.

I see there's a lot of controversy surrounding how a quote by Aminatou Sow was used. Ironically the reaction to that controversy does a lot more towards proving her point, for me, than her actual book did. A lot of people seem to have taken the word of an internet figure they look up to but have never met and drawn a li
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sally Kohn's The Opposite of Hate is a well-written, engaging read about the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and incivility. This quick read is sorted into six main chapters looking at why and how we hate, hate as belonging, unconscious hate, when hate become pandemic, systems of hate, and a concluding section on the journey forward.

This concluding section has a great paragraph...

"The opposite of hate also isn't some mushy middle zone of dispassionate centrism. You can still have stron
Kohn like the majority of Americans despaired when Donald Trump was elected after his campaign of hate mongering. She started researching hate, from individuals, groups and nationalities. During her research she interviewed former white nationals, Palestinians, Jews, Hutu and Tutsi Rwandans and many others.

Why I started this book: Title and the need to confront the hate in my life and in my country.

Why I finished it: Short but powerful book. I know that I will need to return to it later, to soa
Jennifer Mangler
This one made me think, and that's always a good thing. But I have serious issues with her scholarship after reading about her misquoting Aminatou Sow and her misuse of Ijeoma Oluo's tweets. That's a shame, because unconscious bias is something that we really need to talk about. ...more
Salty Swift
Sep 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wish I could throw zero stars at this book....anyone who doesn't check/verify their sources need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law..... other than that, if you're interested in learning how to get rid of your hate issues, turn elsewhere.... ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find it ironic that I should finish this book on election day; this is not a book of how to love or forgive. This book is purely a push to be a Democrat. She lives her life with claiming a Democrat status as the highest focus of living. I do NOT live my life with a political party at the top - at all! I am not affilliated with any party.

Sally Kohn filled this with so many stories of hate and rarely any detail about how to love or forgive, that it was truly depressing. She added gruesome, horr
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
The premise is 5 stars, the execution is decent, but obviously there are big issues to keep ship shape in non-fic and accurate quoting, permission, and attribution are very important. That controversy aside, and knowing that you then have to take all other quotes with a grain of salt, her personal insights were interesting, the science was an excellent inclusion, and the intention and premise of this book are powerful, I only wish there were more and better answers.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, non-fiction
Interesting but incredibly heavy read that I probably shouldn’t have read at the time that I did. It’s an interesting look at why people hate and what we can do about it. Minus points for the author not censoring the n-word on multiple occasions when quoting other people because there really is no excuse for that and was quite jarring to listen to, especially in a book dedicated to fighting hate.
Taira Meadowcroft
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on audiobook.

I had issue with the writing style at parts and wanted less memoir and more research. Still a good and quick read to help us understand that we are all capable of hate and how to combat that hate.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Loved the premise but lots of research to read through
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, fiction
I found this exploration of “otherizing” and dehumanizing people to be extremely relevant, interesting and painful. It addresses something I’m striving to cease doing. I read some other reviews before posting this, and was made aware of some controversy regarding attribution of quotes Kohn uses. That is of concern, but I haven’t fully absorbed it. She did reference the Milgram “giving shocks to other people” when told to, experiment. There’s a great 2015 article in The Atlantic taking a second l ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would like everyone - literally, everyone - to read this. Thank you for this book, Sally Kohn.
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Sally Kohn is one of the leading progressive voices in America. She is currently a CNN political commentator and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Kohn was previously a Fox News contributor, and she has been a frequent guest on MSNBC. Sally is currently working on a book about hate — why there's so much hate in our world today, why it's getting worse, and what we can do to stop it. THE OPPOSITE OF ...more

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