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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Deer Hunting With Jesus Rereviewed

I wrote this review in March of 2009 as an introduction to my new second blog Troutbirder II. I recall finding the book interesting and unsettling.  Around that time a friend had accused me of fomenting "class warfare" by my pro labor union comments.  I responded by referring to "famous" social scientist Paris Hilton having pointed out the war was over.  "We won" she said.  I feared she might be right. I needed more information...... so the picked up Deer Hunting With Jesus.

My take on March 17, 2009
"If you are comfortable with all your political, social and cultural assumptions:
DON'T READ THIS BOOK. It's very upsetting.
If you attack people who suggest that the income differential between those who shower before they go to work and those who shower afterwards has increased
enormously in recent decades by accusing them of "class warfare:"
DON'T READ THIS BOOK. You won't like what you find out.
If you think all blue collar working class people are stupid and worse:
DON'T READ THIS BOOK. If you do you might be shocked.
If you get upset because their are "Reagan Democrats," Limbaugh "dittoheads,"
"Armed Old Testament Evangelicals," and "My Country Right or Wrong Superpatriots."
DON'T READ THIS BOOK. It won't make you happy to find out why they exist."

March 9, 2017  A Second Look
Deer Hunting with Jesus    -  Dispatches' From the Class War  

From the church where his brother preaches in tongues to the Rubbermaid plant that employs half his hometown, Bageant uncovers harsh lessons about how liberals failed the people who do society's grunt work, as well as fight our wars, and wind up with nothing to show for it.  They're bitter as hell, but they "vote Republican because no liberal voice...that speaks the rock-bottom, undeniable truth, ever enters their lives."
Bageant's dead serious and damned funny, as he despairs over his benighted brethren but loves them fiercely and wants justice for them. This book is a fantastically readable explanation of why working-class America has given up on liberalism. Winning it back, Bageant writes, means liberals "are going to have to pick up this piece of roadkill with our bare hands."
Looking back on my first review I can't say we weren't warned.  Instead we lost focus and the result was Trumpism with Trump as President. God help the U.S.A.

Of course, the situation has gotten a lot worse since the book was published.  Miss Hilton's team hasn't won but is winning.  Bill Clinton had it right those decades ago..."It's the economy stupid."


Janie said...

You've made me very curious. And it has such an intriguing title, too.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Art was talking about this book last week. I think he's getting it from the library.

Love your header photo.

Sarah Laurence said...

Funny how telling people not to read a book makes them want to read it! You should work for a publishing company.

Shelley said...

I might have to get the hubby this for father's day! :)

Lin said...

Hmmmm..I'm intrigued. The only thing that holds me back is the non-stop barrage of all things politics. I am turning to books these days as my escape from the far left media.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sr T. Nice re-review. I appreciate the effort to get us to step back and take a broader view than we get by focusing on the distracting daily infighting between the two Capitalist parties.

It's both fascinating and sad that a 2009 warning is as prescient now as it was then and that Paris Hilton had a clearer view of politics then than the Democratic Party leadership does now.

I think we can take hope from the fact that millenials have a much sharper class analysis than do we who were raised on nothing but Cold War propaganda such that two thirds of them have a favorable view of Socialism up from half just three years ago!

Linda said...

I really should read that book! Winchester is only 40 minutes from here and we go there often. Rubbermaid has taken over a second factory, a GE building that closed after incandescent bulbs went out of style.

Valerie said...

Anything political puts me off reading lately. Perhaps I'm turning into a 'head under the pillow' person!

Arkansas Patti said...

I'm afraid I am a bit like Valerie. I am totally politically burned out. I do hope the younger and stronger take up the challenge. Perhaps we need some campaign managers to read this so they can understand how to win elections. .

Anvilcloud said...

Liberals are very busy being offended and drowning out free speech.

BTW, I am a liberal ... or thought I was.

Cynthia said...

Interesting in light of the most recent events in the US. We have a battle royal going on in our small newly-adopted town on the East Coast. Conservatives want to somehow revive the steel mill on prime real estate on the water, which closed down almost two years ago, and get their jobs back. Liberals want to tear down the eyesore and use the land to bring in tourists, creating service jobs. The meetings have been interesting and sad because these men want to bring back a world that no longer exists, one with paid health insurance, secure jobs, pensions, and high wages for unskilled workers willing to do dirty, hot, and dangerous work.