One Book, One New Paltz selection chronicles the awakening of a former white supremacist

The One Book, One New Paltz tradition continues this fall with a shared reading of Eli Saslow’s “Rising out of Hatred,” a powerful examination of the recent history of American white nationalism through the experiences of a man who grew up in, and ultimately grew out of, that sinister ideological culture.

“Rising out of Hatred” tracks the experiences of Derek Black, once groomed as heir apparent to the American white supremacist movement, through his evolution away from hatred. His story stands as a testament to the power of education and communication to broaden minds and transform lives.

The community read of this book includes a series of public events from Nov. 3 – 9, designed to help provide context and facilitate dialogue. The full event schedule is available online.

The program includes:

  • A presentation from Patricia Sullivan, professor of digital media & journalism and director of the Honors Program, about how interpersonal communication helped Black see the errors in his thinking (Nov. 4, 1:30 p.m., Honors Center);
  • A community discussion of “Rising out of Hatred” led by Tom Olsen, professor of English (Nov. 5, 7 p.m., Inquiring Minds Bookstore);
  • A workshop hosted by the education organization Facing History and Ourselves, intended to provide tools and strategies to prepare classrooms and community groups to practice civil discourse (Nov. 7, 4 p.m., New Paltz Middle School)

“Rising out of Hatred” is the 15th selection of the One Book, One New Paltz collaboration between the College and the Town of New Paltz. This year’s selection process was led on campus by the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives and the Sojourner Truth Library.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in these events, please contact the Benjamin Center at as soon as possible.

Visit the program website to learn more about this year’s selection and events schedule.