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Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

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Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Cover

ISBN13: 9780307339379
ISBN10: 0307339378
Condition: Standard
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Staff Pick

Deer Hunting with Jesus is a hilarious, depressing, and painfully honest chronicle of an America often cited but rarely listened to: rural lower-class whites. With brilliant, spot-on detail, Joe Bageant reports on the historical, economic, and sociological underpinnings of his fellow Appalachians, advice that political progessives dismiss or underestimate at their peril.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

After thirty years spent scratching together a middle-class life out of a "dirt-poor" childhood, Joe Bageant moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, where he realized that his family and neighbors were the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory. That was ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. Two in five of the people in his old neighborhood do not have high school diplomas. Nearly everyone over fifty has serious health problems, and many have no health care. Credit ratings are low or nonexistent, and alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape.

A raucous mix of storytelling and political commentary, Deer Hunting with Jesus is Bageant's report on what he learned by coming home. He writes of his childhood friends who work at factory jobs that are constantly on the verge of being outsourced; the mortgage and credit card rackets that saddle the working poor with debt, i.e., "white trashonomics" the ubiquitous gun culture — and why the left doesn't get it; Scots Irish culture and how it played out in the young life of Lynddie England; and the blinkered "magical thinking" of the Christian right. (Bageant's brother is a Baptist pastor who casts out demons.) What it adds up to, he asserts, is an unacknowledged class war. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks."

Deer Hunting with Jesus is a potent antidote to what Bageant dubs "the American hologram" — the televised, corporatized virtual reality that distracts us from the insidious realities of American life.

Review:

"Written as a wake-up and rallying call for progressives, the work is decidedly partisan. Bageant's writing is witty, bilious, tender, and cruel by turns." Library Journal

Review:

"Brilliant....Joe Bageant evokes working class America like no one else." Howard Zinn

Review:

"Joe Bageant writes like an avenging angel." Mark Crispin Miller

Review:

"A raging, hilarious, and profane love song to the great American redneck." Sherman Alexie

Review:

"Deer Hunting with Jesus is one of those rare books that is colorful, depressing, hilarious, and biting all at the same time. Joe Bageant has given us a glimpse into the vicious class war that is too often ignored or hidden by those happily perpetrating this war." David Sirota, author of Hostile Takeover

Review:

"If [Bageant's] goal was to make us think, he has most certainly succeeded. Given the state of discourse these days, that last sentence is the highest praise one can give." Chicago Sun-Times

Synopsis:

Web columnist Bageant takes readers on a raucous tour through the taverns, churches, and double-wide trailers of the invisible working class — the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory — offering a vivid and sobering snapshot of a nation on the brink of catastrophe.

Synopsis:

A raucous, truth-telling look at the white working poor-and why they hate liberalism.

Deer Hunting with Jesus is web columnist Joe Bageants report on what he learned when he moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, which-like countless American small towns-is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks."

About the Author

Joe Bageant writes an online column (www.joebageant.com) that has made him a cult hero among gonzo-journalism junkies and progressives. He has been interviewed on "Air America" and comments on America's long history of religious fundamentalism in the BBC/Owl documentary The Vision: Americans on America. Until recently he worked as a senior editor for the Primedia History Magazine Group. Bageant and his wife recently downsized their lives in America so that Joe could spend half the year in Belize, where he writes and sponsors a small development project with the Black Carib families of Hopkins Village.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

jamespdx, September 6, 2013 (view all comments by jamespdx)
This is a GREAT read! Any and every Democrat running for political office should pick this up and make it their bible for relating to the working class that they claim to represent. For anyone who has every asked the question, "but why do they vote against their own interests?" in relationship to the working poor's support for Republican candidates - this is a must read! I relate to the author and to his peeps - they are my peeps too, and I too have been frustrated with the way the Democratic Party relates to those it used to represent. If the Democrats are ever going to get back to representing the interests of the working poor they need to figure out how to relate to them first - and I think this book will greatly facilitate that process!! If nothing else, the author lays down a good understanding of how the Republican Party has managed to co-op a group that logic would suggest they couldn't possibly reach. Logic isn't at play here - and the author points out why.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Notary Sojack, January 16, 2012 (view all comments by Notary Sojack)
This is the perfect companion to T. Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas". That explained how, "Deer Hunting with Jesus" describes why. It's a good book for Oregonians to read because we've only hints in this state about how "that other" part of the country thinks and lives.
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Michelle Howard, January 27, 2011 (view all comments by Michelle Howard)
It is not often that I laugh out loud while reading insightful political essays. While many progressive friends to whom I recommended this book found it depressing, I finished the book with a deeper feeling of compassion for my mid-country brethren. Bageant comes at the polarization of America's class war with the authentic voice of one who has been there, seen both sides of the issue, and taken ten steps back to share his perspective with us.

A must read for those of us on either coast.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307339379
Author:
Bageant, Joe
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States Social conditions 1980-
Subject:
Social classes -- United States.
Subject:
American
Subject:
Politics-Political Science
Subject:
Sociology, rural
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.96x5.33x.64 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Political Science
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » Social Science » Essays
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes

Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780307339379 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Deer Hunting with Jesus is a hilarious, depressing, and painfully honest chronicle of an America often cited but rarely listened to: rural lower-class whites. With brilliant, spot-on detail, Joe Bageant reports on the historical, economic, and sociological underpinnings of his fellow Appalachians, advice that political progessives dismiss or underestimate at their peril.

"Review" by , "Written as a wake-up and rallying call for progressives, the work is decidedly partisan. Bageant's writing is witty, bilious, tender, and cruel by turns."
"Review" by , "Brilliant....Joe Bageant evokes working class America like no one else."
"Review" by , "Joe Bageant writes like an avenging angel."
"Review" by , "A raging, hilarious, and profane love song to the great American redneck."
"Review" by , "Deer Hunting with Jesus is one of those rare books that is colorful, depressing, hilarious, and biting all at the same time. Joe Bageant has given us a glimpse into the vicious class war that is too often ignored or hidden by those happily perpetrating this war."
"Review" by , "If [Bageant's] goal was to make us think, he has most certainly succeeded. Given the state of discourse these days, that last sentence is the highest praise one can give."
"Synopsis" by , Web columnist Bageant takes readers on a raucous tour through the taverns, churches, and double-wide trailers of the invisible working class — the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory — offering a vivid and sobering snapshot of a nation on the brink of catastrophe.
"Synopsis" by , A raucous, truth-telling look at the white working poor-and why they hate liberalism.

Deer Hunting with Jesus is web columnist Joe Bageants report on what he learned when he moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, which-like countless American small towns-is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks."

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