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Christian Marco Picciolini

Born: 1973 in Blue Island, Illinois
Connection to Illinois: Picciolini was born and raised in Blue Island.

Biography: Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, a public speaker, author, peace advocate, and a former violent extremist. After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and '90s, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. Christian went on to earn a degree in international relations from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a counter-extremism consulting and digital media firm. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for producing an anti-hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism. Christian's life since leaving the white-power movement over two decades ago has been dedicated to helping others overcome their own hate. He now leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network. He has spoken all over the world, including on the TEDx stage, sharing his unique and extensive knowledge, teaching all who are willing to learn about building greater peace through empathy and compassion. Christian's involvement in, and exit from, the early American white-supremacist skinhead movement is chronicled in his memoir White American Youth. His disengagement work is spotlighted in his MSNBC documentary series Breaking Hate. Picciolini is also the author of a follow-up book, Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism.


Awards:

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialchristianpicciolini
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cpicciolini/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christianpicciolini
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cpicciolini
Web: https://www.christianpicciolini.com/
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Picciolini
WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Christian++Marco++Picciolini
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cpicciolini


Selected Titles

Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism
ISBN: 0316522937 OCLC:

Hachette Books 2020

At fourteen, Christian Picciolini was recruited by a now notorious skinhead leader and encouraged to fight with the movement to 'protect the white race from extinction.' Soon, he had become an expert in racist ideology, a neo-Nazi terror who roamed the neighborhood, quick to throw fists. By the time he left the movement years later and was able to see clearly for the first time, Picciolini found that his life was in shambles and the nation around him was coming apart. Told with startling intimacy and compassion, Breaking Hate is the inside story of how extremists have taken the reins of our political discourse and a guide to how everyday Americans can win it back. The forces pushing to polarize and radicalize us are many--from fake news to coded language to Russian trolls to a White House that often aims to inflame rather than to heal. Increasingly, the information with which we construct our world views is segregated by social media stars and advertisers with murky motives to validate our worst impulses. As Picciolini demonstrates, our modern world systematically normalizes extremism in such a way that we grow blind to it, only recognizing it in the wake of tragedy. Drawing on profiles of extremists that he works to free from violent ideology and on his own painful history leading and then escaping from an infamous neo-Nazi group, Breaking Hate explains why terrorism and violence have come to characterize our daily lives and why that doesn't need to be the case --

White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement -- and How I Got Out
ISBN: 0316522902 OCLC:

Hachette Books 2017

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 eleven years in prison, sixteen-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. Awe-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. --Back cover

 

 

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