This new edition of the acclaimed Frank Meeink story includes a preface by the author, nine new chapters, an updated epilogue, and resource guides for substance abuse recovery and countering racism. This is Frank’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction.
The first edition of the memoir ends in 2005 after Frank almost takes his own life, struggles with recovery, and becomes a newlywed. Much has happened in the dozen years since then: Frank has been on the national lecture circuit for a decade, speaking to various groups on the topic of racial diversity and acceptance. In addition Frank acted alongside Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, and Clifton Collins Jr. in the 2010 independent thriller The Experiment based on Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment in 1971. Frank has established himself as a media go-to appearing on such shows as Hardball by Chris Matthews (to represent Life After Hate following the Sikh Temple shooting in Milwaukee in 2012) as well as CNN, Dr. Drew, Fresh Air, and other national networks. Unfortunately Frank has also experienced tragedy. Following his teenage son’s death he relapsed into heroin. Frank entered the Betty Ford Hazelden clinic and learning how PTSD could affect his sobriety and relationships with his wife and family has been life changing.
Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead is Frank Meeink’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction. Frank’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters led by his older cousin. At fourteen, he shaved his head. By sixteen, Frank was one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast. By eighteen, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison.
Behind bars, Frank began to question his skinhead ways and views, thanks in large part to his African-American teammates on a prison football league. Shortly after being paroled, Frank defected from the white supremacy movement. The Oklahoma City bombing inspired him to try to stop the widespread hatred he once had felt. He began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League in his efforts to stop the hate. Frank partnered with the Philadelphia Flyers to launch an innovative hate prevention program for children and young adults called Harmony Through Hockey.
Following the Trump administration, a time when the Oxford English Dictionary has added “haterade” (excessive negativity, criticism, or resentment) and “otherize” (view or treat – a person or group of people – as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself), Frank Meeink continues to fight for racial, political, and social tolerance and diversity with the goal of mutual understanding. The story of Frank’s downfall and redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives. Dr. Cornel West said, “Frank Meeink’s book is a candid and captivating story of upbeat transformation of a raw racist into a courageous citizen which has much to teach all of us. Don’t miss it!”
10 Books That Influenced Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things Best-selling author Jodi Picoult recommends social justice must-reads that informed her latest novel, which tackles racism and prejudice in America.
10 Books That Influenced Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things
Best-selling author Jodi Picoult recommends social justice must-reads that informed her latest novel, which tackles racism and prejudice in America.
By Heeseung Kim
“It’s based on the...Forward
Watch the Frank Meeink interview on TakePart Live.
When Barry Morrison and Frank Meeink first met in 1995, both men were anxious.
Morrison, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia office, did not want Meeink to come to his office, not surprising given that Meeink, a former...Forward
I’ll pay for that! That is smart any way you look at it. The Feds are removing convict and felon from the lexicon of incarceration. It’s a stigmatism once removed allowing reentry. If someone wants to get I HATE YOU tattoos removed, we should help...Forward
Imagine going to a party and someone is there to take you in hand, guide you though the room, and introduce you to the guests. These introductions increase the odds that even the most timid wallflower will have a good time. We want our authors to...Forward
If you want to jump on board with the latest social media craze, joining Pinterest is the way to go. It is a virtual “pinboard” where people can post pictures of the things that they love (from websites, other “pinners,” or personal...Forward
In this profound memoir… 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
A ‘Recovering Skinhead’ On Leaving Hatred Behind. As a teenager, Frank Meeink was one of the most well-known skinhead gang members in the country. He had his own public access talk show, called The Reich, he appeared on Nightline and other media outlets as a spokesman for neo-Nazi topics, and he regularly recruited members of his South Philadelphia neighborhood to join his skinhead gang.
- Fresh Air: NPR
- Listen here.
Frank Meeink’s book is a candid and captivating story of upbeat transformation of a raw racist into a courageous citizen which has much to teach all of us. Don’t miss it!
- Cornel West
- Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University
Frank Meeink’s story is inspiring, compelling, and moving. It has the power to change lives. We should all be grateful to him for sharing it.
- Morris Dees
- Founder and Chief Trial Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center
Powerful, absorbing, stunning and sobering, this book is an unvarnished, revealing, sad, and painful portrayal of a struggle that continues, and of a tortured but hopeful soul striving to do good.
- Barry Morrison
- Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Frank Meeink’s life story is a window into a world where hatred works like a drug. It is a compelling and cautionary tale.
- Kenneth Stern
- Director on Antisemitism and Extremism, American Jewish Committee
Frank’s transormation provides us commanding proof that reconciliation is possible even for those most tightly bound by hatred.
- Jesse Dylan
- Director of the Obama campaign’s Yes We Can video and the documentary Reconciliation
As a white man to stand in solidarity with folks of color in the struggle against racism, I am heartened by Frank Meeink’s story. His narrative confirms that we as white folks have a choice when it comes to how we wish to live in this skin. We can remain silent, or even collaborate with the subordination of peoples of color, or we can become allies in the fight for justice. Meeink has made his choice. May we all have the courage and fortitude to do the same. Nothing less than the fate of our nation depends on it.
- Tim Wise
- Author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
Meet Frank Meeink – he knows the truth.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel
- Author of Prozac Nation
Frank Meeink tells how he was drawn into America’s Nazi underground and how he ultimately triumphed over drugs and hatred.
In Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead he talks about what made him easy prey for skinhead gang recruiters, how, by 16, he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast, and how he defected from the white supremacy movement and changed his life.
If you look at Frank Meeink’s resume today - author, speaker, founder of an outreach program for kids - you wouldn’t suspect that he used to be a Neo-Nazi Skinhead. But that was Frank’s life when he was a teen. It took prison and being locked up with men of different colors to change Frank’s views on things. Join us for a special look into the life of one “Recovering Skinhead.”
- Nevada Public Radio: NPR Member Station
- Listen here.
Former neo-Nazi: ‘Racist music is what keeps the movement young’ Chris Matthews talks to Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi and self-described “former skinhead,” about the white supremacy culture and how it may have influenced Wade Michael Page, the alleged shooter who gunned down a Sikh temple this past weekend.
- Hard Ball With Chris Matthews
- Watch here.
Live from Prairie Lights - Frank Meeink, introduced by Paul Ingram, will read from Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, a raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over drugs and hatred. A violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. By age 16 he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast and by 18 was doing hard time. The story of Meeink’s downfall and redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.
- Prairie Lights Books & Cafe
- Watch here.
From Hatred To Harmony: A Conversation With A Former Skinhead. When Frank Meeink was 16 years old, he had a shaved head and a large tattoo of a swastika on his neck. He used to recruit teenagers to the skinhead movement. Now he teaches teenagers about peace and forgiveness. Frank Meeink has written a book about his journey called Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead
Former neo-Nazi’s story offers profound lesson in Trump era.
- Lisa Falkenberg, Houston Chronicle
Frank Meeink, A Recovering Skinhead on Leaving Hatred Behind. Now a noted speaker, author and founder of Harmony Through Hockey, Frank’s life stands for tolerance, diversity and mutual understanding in racial, political and all aspects of society. Frank is truly an inspiration in any time of strife and conflict.
- NewChurch Live
- Watch here.
KFDM covers the ADL and U.S. Attorney’s event with speaker Frank Meeink in Beaumont, Texas.
- Watch here.
Frank Meeink’s story is so brutal, so visceral, so unflinching, and in the end, so soul-wrenchingly, specifically American, that it should from this moment on be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the origin of race hatred in these United States of America. Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead stands out as more than a great memoir. It is testament to a great heart, to a man willing to own up to his own violent past and, ultimately, shine a light of hope on this sick, pigment-fixated, demented nation we inhabit. The writing is phenomenal and Meeink’s tale will keep you riveted. In the end, like all true testaments, what the author has to offer is hard-earned, down-to-the-bone hope. I loved this book.
- Jerry Stahl
- Author of Pain Killers and Permanent Midnight
I was unable to put this book down. Frank’s story pulled me in to the point I felt I was living it with him, like I was skating alongside him as he overcame the odds and changed his life and, along the way, proved how hockey and other sports can change other kids’ lives, too.
- Bobby Ryan
- Forward, Anaheim Ducks
The book’s lasting impression is of the brutality of Meeink’s earlier incarnation, and one wonders if those drawn to white supremacy and hatred could take any lessons from it before their beliefs come to harm others.
- Caleb Powell, The Rumpus
Frank Meeink is the real deal! Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead will captivate you and open your eyes to the struggles of racism. His story is a lesson for everyone.
- Gustavo Alvarez
- Author of Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars