Jason King's Reviews > Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant
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's review
Jan 16, 12

Read from September 20 to 24, 2011 — I own a copy

Bageant's quest to understand why "his people" - a term he tintinnabulates to refer to Virginia "rednecks" (his words, not mine) - so often vote against their interests. He comes to interesting conclusions but the ones that seem the most apt are often flippantly disregarded - that the source of wealth in Appalachian Virginia is in land, for example - would provide an interesting anthropological connection since societies built on wealth derived from land, everywhere and anywhere, tend to have high income inequality, low education, and low social mobility. Sounds like it fits Winchester, Virginia well. Instead, though, Bageant blames businesses, Wal-Mart (especially), and the Rotary Club (?), and his solutions - all of which save increasing educational funding seem unrealistic, boil down to changing the value systems of the people that live there. He _might_ have better luck educating leftist politicians on how to talk to "his people" on a level on which they'd agree.

It's tough because Bageant makes so many alien, bizarre claims. Among those I remember: 1 in 50 people understands that the Sudanese genocide is more important than the football game on TV (source?), that religion is the best indicator for a person's social class (really? not, um, income, or education), and that homeschoolers are a fundamentalist cult to make America a Christian nation. Some of this is, doubtless, because he's writing about a people that have have become alien to himself as well: his own, and in lacking for individual source material he substitutes in most of the usual suspects: TV is destroying people. Consumerism is bad. Things were better "then" - probably because he so flippantly dismisses the incredible racism and ignorance of the past.

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Reading Progress

09/20/2011 page 49
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by K. A. (new)

K. A. O'Neil All in all, is it worth the read? Feel free to wait until you've finished it to answer =)

Jason King My opinion might change when I'm done - right now I'd say no. The signal-to-noise ratio is way too high and I could convey what he believes (mostly which is told by him just coming out and saying it instead of showing it through images in his writing) in a few sentences.

Jason King I meant the signal-to-noise ratio is way too low. Oopsie-daisy.

Jason King Updated the review. IMO, stay away from this piece of shit.

message 5: by K. A. (new)

K. A. O'Neil Ha! Let me know if you want help picking the next one

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