Not by the Sword: How a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman

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University of Nebraska Press, 2012 - Social Science - 360 pages
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Not by the Sword tells the inspiring true story of how a Jewish cantor and his family changed the life of a virulent white supremacist leader. This riveting account begins in 1991, when Cantor Michael Weisser received his first threatening phone call from Larry Trapp, Grand Dragon of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Nebraska. But Cantor Weisser and his wife, Julie, refused to be intimidated by Trapp's escalating threats. Instead, they made a stunning offer of friendship. After an emotional confrontation with the Weissers, Trapp shocked everyone—including himself—by resigning from the KKK and breaking his ties with other neo-Nazi leaders.

Not by the Sword recounts Larry Trapp’s life as a racist, his startling transformation in response to the Weissers’ kindness, and his subsequent crusade to redeem his past. Kathryn Watterson movingly describes how one family feared, fought, and then forgave a man who had tried to destroy them.

This gripping tale gives the reader an inside view of hate mongering and offers a powerful testament to the triumph of the human spirit and the transforming power of love and tolerance.

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User Review  - coolmama - LibraryThing

Should be taught in Middle School cirriculum. Almost unbeliveable story of a former Klan leader and how a Cantor/Rabbi in Nebraska reaches out to him. Waiting for the movie to come out. Simply amazing! Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Kathryn Watterson teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the award-winning author of eight books, including You Must Be Dreaming (basis of the NBC movie Betrayal of Trust) and Women in Prison (basis of the ABC documentary Women in Prison).

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