Tag Archives: community



Farrar, Straus & Giroux
304 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 9780374275839
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A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

Megan Phelps-Roper

“Megan Phelps-Roper is a beautiful writer, and her journey— from the Westboro Baptist Church to becoming one of the most empathetic, thoughtful, humanistic writers around—is exceptional and inspiring.”

—Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

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—expand its activities. It became 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. 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.” 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. 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.

Phelps-Roper, Megan

© Michelle Wray

Megan Phelps-Roper is a writer and activist. She left the Westboro Baptist Church in November 2012 and is now an educator on topics related to extremism and communication across ideological lines. She lives in South Dakota.

Choosing Civility

Choosing Civility

St. Martin’s Griffin
208 pages • $12.99
ISBN: 978-0-312-30250-4

The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct

P. M. Forni

“A slim but powerful book.”—Linell Smith, The Baltimore Sun

Most of us would agree that thoughtful behavior and common decency are in short supply, or simply forgotten in hurried lives of e-mails, cellphones, and multitasking. Forni’s book identifies and explains twenty-five rules that are most essential for our connecting effectively and happily with others. He provides examples of how to put each rule into practice and so make life—and the lives of others—more enjoyable, companionable, and rewarding.

P.M. ForniP. M. Forni is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Choosing Civility, The Civility Solution, and The Thinking Life. His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He has appeared on NPR and Oprah. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Choosing Civility has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Clayton State University (GA); Frank Phillips College (TX); Grand Rapids Community College (MI); Howard Community College (MD); Johnson C. Smith University (NC); Kalamazoo Valley Community College (MI); Lynn University (FL); Mount Union College (OH); Muskingum College (OH); New York Institute of Technology; Occidental College (CA); Pennsylvania State University, Berks; San Diego Mesa College; Southern Utah State University; Spelman College (GA); St. Cloud State University (MN); SUNY, Potsdam; University of West Georgia

The Civility Solution

Civility Solution

St. Martin’s Griffin
192 pages • $12.99
ISBN: 978-0-312-36964-4

What to Do When People Are Rude

P. M. Forni

“Forni will be remembered as one of the greatest generals in our nation’s struggle for civility.”—Smithsonian magazine

Though confronted with rudeness every day, many people don’t know how to respond. P. M. Forni shows how to respond to others’ negative behavior by being assertive as well as civil. In doing so, he suggests that the cycle of rudeness can be broken. In a simple and practical handbook, Forni takes a closer look at the challenges of human interaction and presents logical solutions that reinforce good behavior and make our world a more civil place. “Though his new book deals with many kinds of incivility, Dr. Forni has devoted a sizeable chunk of it to workplace and high-tech rudeness . . . his approach to incivility is rooted in his academic career researching and teaching Italian literature. Some fundamentals of good behavior, he says, go back hundreds of years.”—The Wall Street Journal

P.M. Forni

P. M. Forni is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Choosing Civility, The Civility Solution, and The Thinking Life. His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He has appeared on NPR and Oprah. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.