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Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  6,411 ratings  ·  1,034 reviews
This book tells the intensely personal saga of one man who eventually disavowed everything he was taught to believe, at tremendous personal cost. Derek Black grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism. His father founded Stormfront, the largest racist community on the Internet. His son went to a liberal college and slowly rexamined his beliefs and left his family's raci ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Doubleday
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Gay Lynn 2. Allison was relentless and she had the facts and research that were convincing. SHE made a huge difference in changing his views. Are they married …more2. Allison was relentless and she had the facts and research that were convincing. SHE made a huge difference in changing his views. Are they married now? Just curious. What are they doing now?

3. YES Shocked @ the power of hate groups. But then, the US is askew between the rural and urban, between the college educated and not, between people who have traveled overseas and not, with the inequity of opportunity in public schools in different neighborhoods. I only talk to people in my orbits of weekly routines. (less)

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Petra-X Off having adventures
You know the phrase, "Some of my best friends are Black (or Jewish) ", said by people trying to prove that they aren't the bigots they quite obviously are. It was kind of that phrase that turned Derek Black around. His best friends on the campus of his liberal college were a Peruvian boy he played guitar with and a Jewish kid who invited them to his Friday night dinners, and the girl he was closest to, who was also Jewish.

He hadn't meant them to be his best buddies, but he was new in college an
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first time I heard of Derek Black was on an episode of the podcast The Daily. I found his story fascinating even then, and when I had a chance to read this book, I was excited to learn more. Rising Out of Hatred tells Derek's story, but also that of his family. Though I will never truly understand let alone condone the "movement"(seems to positive a word somehow) of white supremacy, I found it disturbingly intriguing to learn their reasoning for such hateful ideology. It's incredible that De ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This review and others can be found on my blog!

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC! This will publish September 18th!

I’m kind of worried about writing this review because I have some things that I want to say that people might not like hearing. Obviously this is a very positive review of the book, but it has an unpopular message that people just don’t want to hear. This is what I’ve found from seeing things happen on blogs and Goodreads, and then trying to join in to stop it but being sucked into thi
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, race
I waited 5 months to get a library e-copy of this book and was so excited when it finally became available. Eagerly I began reading it, at first loving it. However, about a third of the way through, it just started to drag. And drag. And drag. I'm sure I didn't just groan in my head but out loud, more than once, in frustration at the repetition. And to make matters worse (for me who is no fan of YA), it felt like reading a young adult novel part of the time. No, no, no! This is supposed to be an ...more
January 13th 2021

Hi all! Quick edit here because I wanted this review back up at the top of my feed. Derek and Eli's interview on the Daily Show from a few years ago popped up on my Instagram a couple days ago and I realized, again, how necessary Derek's story is. It will never not be necessary I fear but at this particular moment its one that needs very, very badly to be heard. I encourage everyone who hasn't to check this out.



If its possible for the scion of a dynasty of white supre
I would rate this book 3.5 stars.

This book, 'Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist', written by 'Washington Post' reporter Eli Saslow was difficult, uncomfortable and disturbing to read. The book tells about a transformation which occurred in the life of white supremacist Derek Black. Derek had been considered a rising star in the white nationalist movement . Godson of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and son of Don Black, creator of the white supremacist w
Derek Black was the future of the white nationalist movement. His father, Don Black, was the grand wizard of the KKK and the founder of the website Stormfront. Derek grew up with David Duke as his godfather and spent his youth traveling with his family to white nationalist gatherings and doing a radio show with his father. Intelligent and well mannered, he represented a new future for the white nationalist movement, away from swastika armbands and white hoods and shouted slurs, and over to an in ...more
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I clearly have a thing for reading difficult books which is why my reading has slowed down so much this month. Please be aware that this book is about a former white nationalist. Ideas expressed in this book do include racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, anti-immigration rhetoric. Keep your mental health in mind when reading this book.

Whew! Another book about white nationalism. Part of me wonders why I keep reading these books because it can be infuriating, but another part of me wants to understa
I work at a school that is predominately Latino. There used to be a young white teacher that had a flag hung up in her room that had a snake coiled up on it with the phrase, "Don't Tread on Me" across the bottom. My association with this flag and phrase connected to the Tea Party and the ideology of white nationalism.

One morning I went in to her room and asked her about it. I explained my only associations with this flag. She explained how she came to purchase it and that she had no idea the ph
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With the 2016 presidential election and unexpected win of Donald Trump, information and news of White Nationalism reached an increased level of public awareness. In his candid new book “Rising Out Of Hatred: The Awakening Of A Former White Nationalist” Pulitzer Prize winning author Eli Saslow diligently and fearlessly explores how Derek R. Black was raised in a culture of intolerance, racism, and hate by his father-- a former grand wizard of the KKK, and the notorious national spokesman and Klan ...more
I've seen the evil and the damage done
a little bit of it in everyone

Nearly perfect, and one I consider a must-, read.

Thought-provoking and enlightening on white supremacy ideas and propaganda in the U.S.A., its preachers and flock, these perpetrators of hate, perpetuators of evil; as well as on how some of their most basic myths and bullshit were appropriated and continue to be used by a U.S. president as a means of fueling hatred among his base and expediting many voters' fear of those who are
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two years ago I read a Washington Post article, written by Saslow, about Derek Black's departure from white nationalism. Black was once considered the heir to the white nationalist movement, he is the son of Don Black founder of Stormfront (a White Nationalist website) and the godson of David Duke former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (Don Black was also a former Grand Wizard). Black's rise out of white nationalism would not have occurred if it were not for his college friends who talked and s ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent book and very readable. In a way, it's a window into a world that is so scary and out there, but on the other hand, it's also relatable in that it's about a kid who escapes the cult he was raised in. One of my law professors, Bryan Stevenson, once said that teaching a child racism is abuse. Dylan was abused and brainwashed by David Duke and his dad. And he escaped the training.

It was fascinating to see how his liberal college classmates dealt with them. There's a lot of talk th
Sleepless Dreamer
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. I feel the urge to recommend it to everyone I know.

So, Rising Out of Hatred tells us about Derek, who grows up in one of the most prominent white supremacist families. It describes the way he goes to a liberal college and his opinions begin to shift.

When I first saw this book, I felt skeptical. I was afraid it would come across as overly righteous or smug, that it would lack nuance. Nothing could actually be further from the truth. In fact, one of the best things about
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One well-known white nationalist will find the ideology he grew up with no longer held power over him and all it took was good friends, diversity of thoughts and learning to listen to “the rest of the story.”

Derek Black had the nation’s ear, even at the age of nineteen with the backing of his father, Don Black and his godfather, David Duke, former KKK Imperial Wizard. His world is enlarged and his eyes and heart are opened when he is befriended by a Jewish student, a strong-minded young woman. I
Lindsay Nixon
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My nonfiction pick of the year.

This might be the most uplifting book I’ve read in the last two years, which is the opposite of what I was expecting.

Love wins. Leading by example wins. Sharing experience and being honest works. This entire book was a stunning meditation on the power of sharing your experience and truth while Allowing the person the dignity to make a decision for themself based on that... Rather than “persuade” or arguing / trying to change their opinion or manipulate/bully even
Daniel Villines
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
From a political perspective, Rising Out of Hatred touches on a relevant issue that affects American society. It provides insights into how the Republican Party co-opted racism and bigotry in order to keep their ever-slipping grip on power. It acknowledges the white nationalist movement’s shifting image from one of aggression to one of being a victim of the willful genocide of the "white race." Both of these maneuvers served to soften the perception of the white supremacist movement, attract pas ...more
Carrie Poppy
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. An incredible page-turner that reads almost like a thriller. I loved it.
How does a young rising star of the "white nationalist" movement, brought up immersed in a tight-knit family of white supremacists, come to realize that his "freedom of speech" and so-called rational ideas are hurtful to his fellow citizens, and eventually come to renounce and critique those past views? Washington Post writer Eli Saslow takes us on a fascinating journey, based on interviews with the subject himself, Derek Black; his father, Don Black, who had once been a KKK Grand Wizard and now ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of the most important books I've ever read and I feel as though I'm a changed person after reading it! Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist tells the story of Derek Black, the son of Don Black. (Don led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and went to prison for plotting to overthrow the Caribbean island of Dominica in order to establish a white ethnostate there.) Derek’s godfather is David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. Together they groomed Derek ...more
Donna Davis
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in civil and human rights
Derek Black was the heir apparent to the White Supremacist throne, godson of David Duke, and the son of the founder of the largest hate site in the U.S. This gripping biography tells the story of his transformation, from racist wunderkind to social justice proponent. Thanks go to Net Galley and Doubleday for the review copy. This book is for sale now.

As a young person bent on following his family’s toxic legacy, Black felt that part of the secret to gaining support was in softening the language
Eli Saslow pens a riveting tale of the White Nationalist, Derek Black, who was tapped as the "heir apparent" to the leadership of the KKK, but eventually rejected that role. Growing up, Derek's father was a grand wizard for the KKK, and his mother was once married to David Duke. Accepting this political stance was just normal for Derek, but things began to change when he enrolled in a liberal arts college and was confronted with ideas that were opposite to his own. Saslow does an impeccable job ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was not keen to tackle the Advance Reader copy of Eli Saslow's biography of Derek Black my son handed to me. The name was only vaguely familiar, the very notion of White Nationalism disgusts me, biographies bore me more often than not, and few professional journalists seem capable of writing full-length books without succumbing to the temptation of inserting a few morsels of literary fiction to add luster to the bare facts. Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize winner and staff writer for The Washington Po ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
I knew very little about this book when I picked it up other than that a) it was about a recovering white nationalist/supremacist, and b) it was available on audiobook at the library. The first thing that surprised me was that it wasn't a memoir (a point in its favor), but rather, written by a journalist about its subject, Derek Roland Black.

For those who don't know (I didn't), Derek is the son of Don Black, the founder and proprietor of Stormfront, which was/is one of the interweb's premiere c
Nima Morgan
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Very fascinating, but it leaves me with a pondering thought : Can people genuinely change their core beliefs? I am intrigued to know how Mr. Black will continue his journey.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was granted access to an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'd read Eli Saslow's profile, "The White Flight of Derek Black," in The Washington Post shortly after it was published. This book is largely an expansion of that article, one that digs more deeply into the story of Derek Black and how he came to renounce the white nationalist ideology in which he was raised. (His father, Don Black, is the founder of Stormfront, one of the most popular online
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a New College alum who entered the school a few months after Derek black graduated, I'm definitely biased because I have a very intimate knowledge of the environment that fostered his "transformation," I guess you could call it. Essentially, I feel that this was an accessible, thorough, well-rounded account of Derek Black's story, which is a story that I believe needs to be told. I think that the book does offer one understanding of white nationalist thought processes, which is valuable in th ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-reported and well-written, and highly effective as a biographical portrait of one man: Derek Black, son of Don Black, the founder of the white supremacist/Nazi (those involved would object to both these terms but too bad) website Stormfront, and once considered the "Great White Hope" of the White Nationalist movement. Then Derek went to college, got invited to shabbat dinners by some very generous Jewish students, and changed his mind about everything. Including, finally, in an outspoken wa ...more
Casey Wheeler
I received a free Kindle copy of Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow courtesy of Net Galley  and Doubleday, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as  the description sounded interesting and it is an subject on which I have not read about before.  This is the first book by Eli Saslow that
Leah Colby
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: themoreyouknow
I am stunned, appalled and encouraged by Derek’s story. I chose this book after seeing Eli and Derek on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and with Trevor’s review, it seemed like a good book that would help me understand white supremacy. It is so well written-bravo Eli! It takes you by the hand into the fear, the brainwashing and the entitlement that is the foundation of this group. The patience of Derek’s college friends and their choice to engage vs. isolate was inspiring. Eli’s meticulous obse ...more
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Eli Saslow is an author and a staff writer for The Washington Post, where he travels the country to write in-depth stories about the impact of major national issues on individual lives. He won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a series of stories about the rise of food stamps and hunger in the United States. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2013, 20 ...more

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“The concept of civil discourse was the creation of a privileged class that didn’t want their lives disrupted by protests or emotional arguments. “Revolutions don’t happen at polite dinner parties,” James wrote,” 2 likes
“Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the country’s largest civil rights groups. During that spring of 2011, the SPLC was focused on what it called “explosive growth on the radical right.” For the first time, the SPLC counted more than 1,000 designated hate groups in the United States, and it described Stormfront as being at “the head of the monster.” The conspiracy-minded “Patriot movement” had doubled in size during the last year, and the number of domestic paramilitary groups had exploded from 78 before President Obama’s election to at least 330 active militias training for a potential war against their own federal government.” 0 likes
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