March 22, 2024
On Campus

Rising Out of Hatred

Eli Saslow, author and writer at-large for The New York Times, will be the keynote speaker for the Fred R. Leventhal Family Lecture, April 9

Author and writer at-large for The New York Times, Eli Saslow will serve as the keynote speaker for the Fred R. Leventhal Family Lecture, the final event of the 2023-2024 Wittenberg Series. Free and open to the public, the event will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in Weaver Chapel. Saslow’s address is titled “Rising Out of Hatred.”

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting, Saslow, who has been called “one of the great young journalists in America,” reveals the human stories behind the most divisive issues of modern times. From racism and poverty to addiction and school shootings, his work uncovers the manifold impacts of major national issues on individuals and families.

Saslow’s book Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, which was the 2019 nonfiction winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, charts the rise of white nationalism through the experiences of one person who abandoned everything he was taught to believe. His oral history project on the COVID-19 pandemic, collected first as a series for The Washington Post, then published as the book Voices from the Pandemic, documents a country struggling amid a worldwide crisis.

Saslow has twice won the Pulitzer Prize: first in 2014 for Explanatory Reporting for a yearlong series about America’s food stamp program for The Washington Post, later collected into the book American Hunger; and in 2023 for features for his coverage of people struggling with the pandemic, homelessness, addiction, and inequality. In his 2016 piece “How’s Amanda?”, he profiled a mother trying to support her adult daughter’s recovery from opioid addiction. He later co-wrote the script for the Academy Award-nominated film adaptation, Four Good Days, starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis.

A longtime staff writer for The Washington Post, Saslow covered the 2008 presidential campaign as well as President Barak Obama’s life in the White House. His first book, Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President, is concerned with untold American stories and the complex ways we understand our leaders. Initially a sportswriter, he has four stories anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing and is an occasional contributor to ESPN The Magazine.

Saslow was the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor of Journalism at the University of Montana. In 2011, he cofounded Press Pass Mentors, a writing-focused nonprofit for underrepresented high school students in the Washington, D.C., area. A graduate of Syracuse University, Saslow is the winner of two George Polk Awards, a PEN Literary Award, a James Beard Award, and other honors. In February 2023, he joined The New York Times as a staff writer. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.

Following the address, books will be available for purchase, and Saslow will do a book signing. He will also attend a lunch with students interested in his work, including students in Wittenberg’s journalism and digital media classes.

This Wittenberg Series event is made possible by a gift to Wittenberg University from the Fred R. Leventhal family.

The Wittenberg Series was created in 1982 during President William A. Kinnison’s tenure. Since its inception, Nobel Laureates, scientists, significant literary figures, most of America’s foremost modern dance companies, as well as hundreds of prominent psychologists, educators, economists, writers, theologians, urban planners, and historians have visited campus to participate.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of each lecture or performance.

For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here. To make special arrangements or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Katie Warber at


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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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