Synopses & Reviews
Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead
is Frank Meeink's raw telling of his descent into America's Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over drugs and hatred. Frank's violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate, while addiction made him easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters. By 16 he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast and by 18 he was doing hard time.
Teamed up with African-American players in a prison football league, Frank learned to question his hatred, and after being paroled he defected from the white supremacy movement and began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. A story of fighting the demons of hatred and addiction, Frank's downfall and ultimate redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.
"In this profound memoir, reformed skinhead Meeink, with assistance from academic and activist Roy (Love to Hate: America's Obsession with Hatred and Violence), recounts his former life as a Neo-Nazi. Told with passion and clarity, Meeink's story begins with neglectful parents and an abusive, junkie stepfather, who sowed the anger and hatred that would make him a prime candidate for the Neo-Nazi movement that exploded in Philadelphia through the late 1980s and '90s. Before long, Meeink's mutual embrace with the National Alliance led him to his own gang of recruits and a (largely random) 'holy war' that would end up haunting him: 'How many of my victims had wished for death while I brutalized them?' In federal prison at age 17, surrounded by cons of all races and creeds, Meeink first began to question what he'd been taught about the 'elite' Aryan race; the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing would complete his transformation, leading him to seek out the feds for confession. A brutal tour of modern American racism at its worst, a case study of traumatized youth and drug addiction, and a stark reminder of the human capacity for redemption, Meeink and Roy's account is a shocking but ultimately reaffirming read." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"In Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead
, Meeink recounts his life in horrendously lucid detail, and it reads like a recipe for disaster. Take a child raised in near-squalor, mix in parental apathy, low self-esteem, a culture where violence is the only solution, top it off with a dogma that rationalizes every negative impulse imaginable, and you get an ideological thug, bent on destruction in the name of racial purity." Gerry Donaghy, Powells.com
(Read the entire Powells.com review
About the Author
By age 16, Meeink was a notorious skinhead gang leader. At age 18, he was doing hard time. Teamed up with African-American players in a prison football league, Meeink learned to question his hatred. Here, he describes his descent into and ultimate triumph over drugs and hate.