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about the book
At a moment when we are facing an epidemic of incivility and hate—with divisive political speech, online trolling, and hate crimes escalating—popular CNN commentator Sally Kohn sets out to discover why we hate and how can stop it.
As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences, learning how to talk civilly to people whose views she disagrees with passionately. Famously “nice,” she even gave a TED Talk about what she termed emotional correctness. But these days even Kohn has found herself wanting to breathe fire at her enemies.
It was time, she decided, to look into the ugliness erupting all around us. In The Opposite of Hate, Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers, investigating the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how simple incivility can be a gateway to much worse . She travels to Rwanda, the Middle East, and across the US, introducing us to terrorists, white supremacists, and even some of her own Twitter trolls, drawing surprising lessons from these dramatic examples — including unbelievable stories of those who left hate behind. As Kohn boldly confronts her own shameful moments, whether it’s the girl she bullied as a child or her own deep partisan resentment, she points the way toward change.
No one is more poised to lead us out of this wilderness of hate than Sally Kohn. Her engaging, fascinating, and often funny book will open your eyes and your heart.
Sally Kohn is one of the leading progressive voices in America today. Currently a CNN political commentator and columnist, Sally was previously a Fox News contributor — and before that worked for over 15 years as a community organizer. Sally's writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Magazine, More Magazine, RollingStone.com, Elle.com, USA Today, Time, Afar Magazine and many other outlets. She's also a popular keynote speaker and frequently leads media and speaking skills workshops for grassroots activists and corporate leaders. MORE >>
“I wanted to understand the hate that seemed to be engulfing the planet.”
from THE OPPOSITE OF HATE
an excerpt from THE OPPOSITE OF HATE
"The biggest surprise of this journey has been how optimistic and uplifted I feel. Alongside the hateful history of the world are stories of transcending that hate. Hate is no more hard-wired into our world than it is into our brains. Change is possible. I know this now not only because I read the psychology and biology and neuroscience research, but because I met people who had plumbed the greatest depths of hatred in our world and nonetheless managed to find a way out.
"So what is the opposite of hate? The opposite of hate is not love. You don’t have to love people to stop hating them. You don’t even have to like them. You also don’t have to concede the validity of their views. You can have beliefs that are in strong opposition to the beliefs of other people, and still treat those others with civility and mutual respect. Ultimately, the opposite of hate is the beautiful and powerful reality of our how we are all fundamentally linked and equal as human beings. The opposite of hate is connection."
praise for THE OPPOSITE OF HATE
"A stunning debut by a truly gifted writer—an eye-opening read for both liberals and conservatives—and it could not come at a better time."
— Adam Grant, author of Option B and Give and Take
"This is a must-read book for all of us at this moment in history. I’m grateful for Sally Kohn’s clear voice and vision in showing us the way forward."
— Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love
"A testament to the power of understanding others deeply, the book reminds us that even those we disagree with vehemently have a perspective and orientation that we can learn from as we work to make the world better."
— DeRay Mckesson, activist
“Sally Kohn has really done it this time. Brilliant.”
— Sarah Silverman, comedian
"Sally and I agree on very little politically, but somehow in spite of that, we have navigated a friendship that transcends everything else. This book explains it all!”