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Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Paperback – Jun 24 2008

7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (June 24 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307339378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307339379
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 20.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Bageant mixes a reporter's keen analysis, a storyteller's color, and a native son's love of his roots in this absorbing dissection of America's working poor. Returning to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, after 30 years of life among the elite journalistic class, Bageant sought to answer the question of why the working poor vote for Republicans in apparent opposition to their own interests. On a broader level, he examines issues of economic class distinctions as he drills below the middle-class claims of his hometown. The reality is that two of five residents do not have high-school diplomas and virtually everyone over 50 has serious health problems in a town—and nation—with poor and failing schools and health systems. Still clinging to illusions of personal responsibility and the vain hope of someday achieving wealth, Winchester's residents fall deeper into debt, farther behind in ambitions beyond working in the local factory—if they're lucky—and, along with their children, subject to the de facto draft of economic conscription. Through the lives of his friends and family, Bageant explores the importance of hunting, religion, and redneck pride in what he describes as the "American hologram." A wise, tender, and acerbic look at life among America's working poor. Bush, Vanessa
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Joe Bageant is a brilliant writer. He evokes working class America like no one else. The account of his revisit to his Virginia roots is sobering, poignant, and instructive."
—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"This book is righteous, self-righteous, exhilarating, and aggravating. By God, it's a raging, hilarious, and profane love song to the great American redneck. As a blue state man with a red state childhood, I have been waiting for this book for years. We ignore its message at our peril."
—Sherman Alexie, author of Reservation Blues

“This fine book sheds a devastating light on Bush & Co.'s notorious 'base,' i.e. America's white working class, whose members have been ravaged by the very party that purports to take their side. Meanwhile, the left has largely turned them out, or even laughed at their predicament. Of their degraded state—and, therefore, ours—Joe Bageant writes like an avenging angel.”
—Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Election Reform

"Joe Bageant is the Sartre of Appalachia. His white-hot bourbon-fuelled prose shreds through the lies of our times like a weed-whacker in overdrive. Deer Hunting with Jesus is a deliciously vicious and wickedly funny chronicle of a thinking man's life in God's own backwoods."
—Jeffrey St. Clair, author of Grand Theft Pentagon and co-editor of CounterPunch

“This recounting of lost lives—of white have-nots in one of our most have-not states—has the power of an old-time Scottish Border ballad. It is maddening and provocative that the true believers in 'American exceptionalism' and ersatz machismo side with those stepping all over them. Bageant's writing is as lyrical as Nelson Algren's, and if there's a semblance of hope, it's that he catches on with new readers thanks to the alternative media.”
—Studs Terkel

"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

“Dead serious and damn funny...Bageant writes with the ghosts of Hunter S. Thompson, Will Rogers, and Frank Zappa kibitzing over his shoulder...Takes Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas, to the next level. “
Mother Jones

“Bageant mixes a reporter's keen analysis, a storyteller's color, and a native son's love of his roots in this absorbing dissection of America's working poor...wise, tender, and acerbic."

“Mixing folksy populism with the lacerating fury of Hunter S. Thompson, Bageant’s bitingly funny report can at times make Michael Moore seem tame. While Hunting may leave you heartsick, it’s hard to turn away.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Informative, infuriating, terrifying, scintillating...Imagine a cross between Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas?, Hunter S. Thompson’s booze-and-dope-fueled meditations on Nixon’s political potency, and C. Wright Mills’s understanding of the durability of the power elite.”
The American Prospect

“Hilariously funny, very angry, and somewhat depressing...The one book I read in 2007 that I would like all of you to read.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

From the Hardcover edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley E. Burrous on July 13 2009
Format: Paperback
Super, unambiguous, straigtforward, brilliant perceptive analysis of the realities of class structure in US, why and how it exists and why the terms commonly used to describe segments of society are misleading and inappropriate. Should be a must read of all high school and undergrad college students, and high school and college teachers. Also has more
superb,convulsive, ooutrageous,spot-on humor than any other book I can recall eading.
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Format: Paperback
I haven't had much exposure the part of America that Bageant describes. Although I served in the military and come from a family of coal miners on my father's side and have met many people from different places and social economic levels, I just haven't been in the environment and similar places described. This book is eye opening and a sad in-depth view of what most would term as red state. America has been sold out and undercut by the fascist capitalistic system. I'm all for having personal freedom to make a living in a free market system as long as it isn't predatory and rigged to only favor those that have enough money to buy politicians and influence. The system IS rigged and the results of such a system are what are described in this book. An America sold to the highest bidder and a system that grinds and bleeds dry its constituents. What is truly sad is that people can be so mistreated and injured by such a system and still think of America with patriotism and a pride that America at its root it is good and decent. Maybe it once was, but no longer. I chalk up this mismatch in understanding and perspective to the propaganda that all Americans are raised and educated with and that is then reinforced via the constant barrage of `news' whether you watch Fox or CNN that only trumpets and America the great and America the just. The big lie has taken hold leaving the majority of Americans broken and tossed aside. America lost a great voice and writer with this author's death. Read this because I think it is one of the truly exceptional books of our time.
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By Carol on Jan. 4 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book relates what it is to be an American, to think like an American, and to act like an American. Regardless of the difficulties making "ends meet," Americans carry on until declining health removes much or all of their financial savings. God bless America.

By the way, to you deer hunters, no where in the book does Jesus go deer hunting with you or anyone else. You will have to continue deer hunting with your friends or by yourself.
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Format: Paperback
Fascinating glimpse into American class structure. Great book to generate conversations with your political buddies, left and right, but leaves you frustrated that solutions for a better America seem beyond anyones grasp. It left me with a better understanding of America but somewhat saddened, regardless it's a book that should be read.
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