- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd; New edition edition (1 Aug. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846271525
- ISBN-13: 978-1846271526
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Guns, Votes, Debt and Delusion in Redneck America Paperback – 1 Aug 2008
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His anecdotal account of his home town matches Michael Moore's polemical rage with Studs Terkel's vivid feel for everyday people
About the Author
Joe Bageant wrote an online column that 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. He worked as a senior editor for the Primedia History Magazine Group before moving to Belize, where he wrote and sponsored a small development project with the Black Carib families of Hopkins Village." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Similarly, I have read and enjoyed Selling Your Father's Bones: The Epic Fate of the American West which gives an insight into the history of the development of the American West and the 'red necks' who pushed out the indigenous inhabitants.
Couple these with God's Own Country by Stephen Bates (religious correspondent of the Guardian) and I thought maybe I knew something about what was going on in the Red States. But this book makes it real.
Bageant mixes anecdote and statistic to give a real feel for what it means to be poor and to vote Republican, to explain why guns are such an emotive issue (and why Bowling For Columbine gets nowhere close), why outsourcing is feared but unions rejected, and why religion is so central.
Bageant manages to get Pat Robertson and Ian Paisley into the same sentence, linking present day religious fundamentalism to the original Scots Irish settlers, suggesting direct links between the respective ideologies. And he tells the tale of Lynddie England, the woman who posed for photos standing on the bodies of tortured Iraqis.Read more ›
However, it is let down by an author whose conviction not only of his own rightness but of everyone else's wrongness becomes tedious. Ironcially, by the end of the book Bageant has become like the charismatic preachers he scrutinises: he's a man with tunnel vision and some converting to do. Fair enough, this is polemic; but I find it difficult to believe that Joe alone has seen the light while all of the people in Winchester and the other places he writes about are unthinkingly accepting of a Government/Church line. In presenting his countrymen as done-down dupes Joe is surely becoming what he purports to despise, namely the educated outsider who sees the little people as a homogeneous mass to be manipulated and cajoled.
Bageant understands the reasons because he was brought up in the south - he can talk to people who live within southern right-wing God-fearing gun-toting communities and gain their trust, and therefore their honest thoughts, on why they vote and live the way they do; the issues and problems these communities face (literacy, history, political marginalisation), and which the liberal elite are quick to dismiss.
Bageant isn't patronising, but neither does he condone the more fanatical wing, and is able to present clear reasoning to the reader without trying to elicit sympathy.
Having now read half of "Deer Hunting..." and having also obtained Joe Bageant's "Rain Bow Pie" from the same source, I could understand US-reluctance to reveal the horrible skeletons hidden in plain sight in many parts of the rural America. Having experiences parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania way back in 1960 I can quite easily empathize with the author about life in big areas of the United States, where most life seems to take place "on the wrong side of the (railroad) tracks".
More recent, extended visits in 1979, in 1988 & in 1996 to many parts of the western states, straddling the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide from Alaska to Arizona, have given me the sense that the America seen and critically depicted by Joe Bageant deserves to be visited - if only in his writing, as it opens one's eyes to a reality none of the main US-media ever cares to reveal. Knowing such views of the US-reality helps to understand official efforts to protect the status-quo, as the alternative may seem too frightening.
I regret Joe Bageant's passing and consider him an authoritative voice - now lost - (whom too few wanted to hear). I recommend his writing, as an honest, sometimes humorous account of reality - not as entertainment. ocurseu
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for getting a handle on Americans who are the bedrock strength of America who have been left behind and should not have been!Published 15 days ago by Mina Bowater
Read this in one sitting. If you haven't met Bageant yet, you are in for a treat. Hard-hitting, perceptive, provocative and fair-minded. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tombo
I found it a little depressing. More for cynical and realist readers who like to laugh at sad reality.Published 10 months ago by Miss V M Escreet
Read this after The Redneck Manifesto, and what a change. Bageant is a self-professed lefty, and his no-nonsense descriptions of life in his hometown in Virginia is full of pathos... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jennifer Hobson
Brilliant account of the sometimes visceral divide between North and South, wealthy and getting by, educated and not so much.Published on 17 Aug. 2014 by Stephen
There are two books trying to coexist 'Deer Hunting with Jesus', one valuable, the other largely uninteresting. Read morePublished on 11 July 2013 by Julian Porter
You'll find didactic answers here to questions I bet you didn't even realise you wanted to ask: why do any poor Americans vote Republican - the party of big business and the rich? Read morePublished on 10 May 2013 by Louise the book worm
Just love the book , bought it for my husband , he will love reading it I'm sure ,great christmas presentPublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by Liz Steer