Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead.

Position:Book review

Frank Meeink (author), Jody M. Roy (author); AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A RECOVERING SKINHEAD; Hawthorne Books (Autobiography/Memoir) $15.95 ISBN: 9780979018824

Frank Meeink once fit the American neo-Nazi archetype perfectly: he had the convictions, the clothes, the swastika tattoo, and the knack for perpetrating violence that have made this underground culture infamous. Surprisingly, today heas an anti-racism advocate, touring speaker, and author of the insightful [title=book]Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead[/title].

The phrasing of this title may lead some readers to instantly connect Meeinkas story with accounts of substance abuse and addiction, and they would be right to do so; the influence of drugs and alcohol on this narrative is paramount. With the guidance of his co-author, Dr. Jody M. Roy (an academic whose research on hate-motivated violence led her to his door), Meeink explores step four of his recovery: he takes an inventory of everything from his childhood experiences through the final resolution of his journey to become an active parent of his own children.

The book is ruthlessly honest, in part because of Meeinkas personal stake in finding the truth; there is something brutal and encouraging about the depth and detail to which he is willing to expose his life to readersa examination. He never sounds preachy or self-pitying, but instead casts aside his ego to explore the damage he caused, with the hope of helping others prevent similar catastrophes.

Backed by vigorous academic research into the facts of the...

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