Deer Hunting With Jesus
Dispatches From America's Class WareBook - 2007
By turns 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 Joe Bageant's report on what he learned when he moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia. Like countless American small towns, it 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 or health care. Alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape.
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
* 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
From the critics
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Bageant is a keen observer of a population seldom given a sympathetic and complex examination - working-class southern whites. And though his anger is most for the powerful of either political stripe, no one escapes unscathed. Bageant's sense of humor lessens the sting from time to time but his is a despairing voice mostly.
Two essays in particular, from this collection, stand out as excellent - perhaps even *Important*: The Ballad of Lynndie England & The American Hologram.
I advise a reader to take in all the essays in the order the author offers, but if you only have time for a couple, read those two. Good stuff.
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