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Would you listen to Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War again? Why?
As a Virginian who was born and raised in the rural southern part of the state, I need to understand more clearly why it's so difficult to reach rural conservative voters. I've lived in the more densely populated area of Northern Virginia for over 30 years and I'm a political activist who cannot figure out how to reach the people I grew up with. Joe Bageant's story is my story too.
What other book might you compare Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War to and why?
It's a bit like "Detroit: An American Autopsy." It's new journalism at its best. Both of these writers go back to the hometowns of their youth, after many years away, to try and sort out the people who shaped who they are - their family and childhood friends. Journalists are perhaps some of the best people to tackle such a complex examination of culture and make it readable, interesting and engaging for the rest of us.
Which scene was your favorite?
His conversations with locals ring true. It's a lens through which to view the world as they see it. Poverty is a lot of work. Only people who have been poor understand that. I understand that.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There were a number of "aha" moments in this book. Often a writer's greatest gift is to clearly articulate a concept we know is true but we didn't have a way to talk about. We need a better way to talk about issues like poverty, guns and religious fundamentalism.
Any additional comments?
This book is extremely helpful in clarifying why our fellow Americans view the world as they do. I didn't agree with all of Joe's conclusions, but the insight and reporting he brings to these subjects is invaluable. Most of us don't step out of our comfort zone to be with other people in a place where we are the odd man out - even in our own country. Understanding and empathy is the key to finding common ground.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you’ve ever wondered why a certain demographic seem disposed to vote for things that are diametrically opposed to their well being then you’ll be entertained and enlightened by Deer Hunting With Jesus, dispatches from America’s class war. Joe Bageant, the author gives liberals a great deal to think about.
The author reads with passion and offers simple, real life vignettes that resonate with the reader or listener. Mr. Bageant grew up in small town Virginia where the chief employer is the Rubbermaid plant. The folks he talks about, and he includes himself, are for the most part ignorant—not stupid— and there’s a big distinction; uneducated, and poor they don’t have time to learn because they are far too busy earning a living.
This isn’t a long book but it’s full of specifics that if liberals ever understood they might even get the conservative, Christian vote.
As a marketing guy and copywriter I’d offer this advise to the author’s publisher. Get Deer Hunting With Jesus onto the nightstands of people like Jon Stewart of Comedy Channel fame along with Rachel Madow on MSNBC. They will book Joe Bageant in quick order and enlighten a group of people who have never heard of this book.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful