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Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon (Hardcover)
"Bronwen Dickey blew my mind with Pit Bull, weaving social and cultural history, personal interviews, and pop culture into a book that reveals that what we call a 'pit bull' doesn't even really exist. I am no longer comfortable identifying any dog by its breed, even my own, much less judging them."— Claire
Bronwen delivers a well balanced, superlatively researched treatise on the much maligned and beloved pit bull (whatever that is)... she really does not try to convince anyone to feel one way or the other (much to her detractor's disbelief), letting the reader come to their own conclusion. a great read about a misunderstood breed...yay dogs!— Jason M.
The hugely illuminating story of how a popular breed of dog became the most demonized and supposedly the most dangerous of dogs--and what role humans have played in the transformation. When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Which made her wonder: How had the breed--beloved by Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Hollywood's "Little Rascals"--come to be known as a brutal fighter? Her search for answers takes her from nineteenth-century New York City dogfighting pits--the cruelty of which drew the attention of the recently formed ASPCA--to early twentieth-century movie sets, where pit bulls cavorted with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton; from the battlefields of Gettysburg and the Marne, where pit bulls earned presidential recognition, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were loved, prized--and sometimes brutalized. Whether through love or fear, hatred or devotion, humans are bound to the history of the pit bull. With unfailing thoughtfulness, compassion, and a firm grasp of scientific fact, Dickey offers us a clear-eyed portrait of this extraordinary breed, and an insightful view of Americans' relationship with their dogs.
About the Author
BRONWEN DICKEY is an essayist and journalist who writes regularly for the Oxford American. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Best American Travel Writing 2009, Newsweek, and Outside, among other publications. In 2009 she received a first-place Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award and a MacDowell Colony residency grant. She lives in North Carolina.