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Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving Extremism (Paperback)

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A gripping memoir of escaping extremism and falling in love, Unfollow relates Megan’s painful departure from Westboro and how she replaced the dogmas she had absorbed with a new community. The tale of her moral awakening is rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, exposing the dangers of black-and-white thinking—and illuminating a possible way out of our age of angry polarization.

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The activist and TED speaker Megan Phelps-Roper reveals her life growing up in the most hated family in America

At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper carried signs protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. As she grew, she watched the church—an enterprise consisting almost entirely of her immediate relatives—become notorious for picketing soldiers’ funerals and celebrating death and tragedy, causing the BBC to label the Phelpses “the most hated family in America.” For Megan, however, Westboro was a source of comfort and inspiration. She admired the congregation’s familial warmth and religious zeal. And as the church’s Twitter spokesperson, she mastered its messaging—skillfully expounding upon pop culture, current events, and all the reasons “God Hates Your Feelings.” Her grandfather, the church’s founding minister, regarded her as a “jewel.”

But Megan’s Twitter evangelizing triggered a remarkable transformation. As she jousted with online critics, observed church members mistreating one another, and tried to make sense of her own evolving beliefs and desires, she started to question her mission. Soon, she was exchanging messages with a man who would help change her life.

A gripping memoir of escaping extremism and falling in love, Unfollow relates Megan’s painful departure from Westboro and how she replaced the dogmas she had absorbed with a new community. The tale of her moral awakening is rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, exposing the dangers of black-and-white thinking—and illuminating a possible way out of our age of angry polarization.

More Information
ISBN 9781250758033
Publisher MPS (Formerly Von Holtzbrinck Publishing)
Publication Date Oct 6, 2020
Pages (number) 304
Genre Biographies and Memoirs
Author Megan Phelps-Roper
Signed No
Format Trade Paperback
Editorial Reviews

“Phelps-Roper’s intelligence and compassion shine throughout with electric prose ... She admirably explicates the worldview of the Westboro Baptist Church while humanizing its members, and recounts a classic coming-of-age story without resorting to cliché or condescending to her former self.” ― Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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