on June 4, 2005
I agree and disagree with nearly everything written about this book. The photos are gorgeous, more beautiful than some of the people in the book deserve. But I'm not sure it is a disservice to the dogs. The dogs pictured in the book are truly beautiful, particularly when they are photographed on their own, outside of the world of people who value them only for the breed stereotype. Beautiful dogs, Ugly world.
Of course, there are two sides of the pit bull world that are ignored: fighting, which is hideous, and the family pit bull, who lives peacefully among its human brothers and sisters. Perhaps someone else will do that book justice.
Also of note, James Frey, who contributes an essay here about his soul mate, a pit bull named Bella. Bella was actually brought home as a mate for his male pit Cassius, who had to be put to sleep because he was from the fighting bloodline. (He tells this story and more in My Friend Leonard, his new book.)
on December 21, 2005
Like the others, I was extremely excited about this book. As an APBT owner and an amature photographer, I couldn't wait to look through it. When I finally did I was SO angered that that the only thing that was portrayed in this book was the very thing I've worked so hard as an owner to fight against. Where were the family dogs, the owners who actually treated their dogs with with love and as family members, not as extensions of their genetals? Like any good essay, whether written or photographic, it should provide the reader/viewer with something new, unique, creative, etc. There was nothing new, creative or unique about these stereotypical immages of a pit bull. While the images were beautiful, as images, the only thing this book does is continue to enforce the very common misconception of a wonderful, family dog.
on April 13, 2005
...of the dignity of the idea that we own the most beautiful canines in the world. I was so very excited to see this book on the internet. I purchased it with a gift card, and had it mailed to my home. Imagaine my dismay when I received the book and opened it up to find photographs of dogs in cages, beside trophies, and men with big gold rings on their fingers! Where are the precious pits that I know and love?
I think you tried, but missed the mark. I mean WAY missed the mark. This book is not for true fans of the pit bull--just people who think the dogs only position in life is to entertain their owners.
on December 22, 2005
... of this great breed. It's interesting to see the feedback here on Amazon, and how it seems to be virtually divided in half. I've been a fan of this book since I bought the paperback version a few months ago, and those friends (owners of pitbulls, like me) that I've shared the book with all agree that this is a great book. As James Frey said in his essay, "There is no middle ground", as far as feeling for Pit Bulls are concerned, and the same really does seem to be the case here regarding the book "American Pitbull". There are families, city people, and country people all portrayed here (even a black & white picture of a rather well-heeled looking woman in what appears to be a Burberry's coat!) all of whom are seen by the photographer as people who are extremely dedicated to the American Pit Bull Terrier breed, attending Pit Bull shows, and participating with the breed in many ways. Anyway, the book is excellent in it's pictures and in the writing and interviews, and I strongly suggest it to anyone who loves the breed. As far as the negative reactions here on Amazon are concerned, I would suggest to those people to take a second look.
on May 7, 2004
As the owner of an American Pitbull Terrier, I am always happy to read positive material about this wonderful and widely misunderstood breed. I had the opportunity to listen to go to a book signing, reading, and Q&A session for this book with both the photographer and the author of the essays of this book, and I was quite pleased with the philosophy of these two men regarding the breed.
The photography in this book is wonderful and very true-to-life. Most of these photos represent the dogs in unstaged situations. Some of the pictures are a bit shocking at first glance, especially if you are a conservative-minded, suburban, or upper-class urban pit bull owner (and there are many of them). The people pictured in this book are not conservative. They basically look like bikers, rappers, and rural country folk. But people should not make judgments on people's appearance. Just because someone looks like a biker and has lots of tatoos and piercings doesn't mean that they abuse their dog, or fight them, or don't love their dog. To think that is just as bad as hating pitbulls because they look "mean" (which quite honestly, they sometimes do). In the interviews in this books, most of these people's viewpoints on their dogs were quite positive and you could tell they had true affection for their dogs. The book really focuses on a certain sub-culture of pit bull owners, one that I am not familiar with. I saw nothing to indicate that these dogs were abused in any way. Dogs in the country often live outside in dog houses. Having these dogs tied on a lead is not inhumane.
The one issue I have with the book is it's emphasis on breeding these dogs. I do not feel that some of the breeders they interviewed are responsible breeders looking to better the breed. They interviewed one breeder who says that he always in-breeds father/daughter because that way he keeps the dogs looking the way he wants. I am not a dog breeder, but I cannot believe that this could be good for the betterment of the breed. There was also the guy who breeds pitbulls for rappers and he breeds to they have the biggest heads possible, and he said he "hates" the "skinny" headed dogs. He says his buyers want their dog to represent themselves, as strong and tough. I don't think this is a good reason to get a pitbull. But it is a photo essay, and it was true, because these people are out there and it is happening.
At the talk I went to, they mentioned that they are working on a film based on the book, which should be interesting. He also mentioned that they type of people who have pitbulls and live on Park Avenue usually weren't open to having their dogs photographed for the book. But the photographs of the dogs are beautiful (there are some truly magnificent pits pictured), and it is a thorough photo investigation into one subset of the pitbull-loving population.
on February 16, 2005
Many people in Pit Bull rescue and people that own Pits were mislead by the authors notes when they purchased this book. It's sad to see how someone (Marc Joseph) thinks that Pits being chained in the backyard, a mother pit being chained while she is trying to nurse her babies, an outdoor kennel in horrible conditions, Mr. Colby's picture (which his father was a very well know dog fighter), a Pit fighting in a hog dog fight, a pit with a leather muzzle, a female being tied down in order to mate her and numerous other pits being kept outside chained shows responsible ownership. I'm disappointed that this book was ever published and that I like many other responsible pit owners were mislead into wasting our money on this book. You want a real look at responsible ownership visit the countless rescue site of pit bulls with their new families. Visit PBRC.net to see the sad reality of over breeding of this breed and how us the people that are trying to save these poor dogs from people like the ones featured in this book, fight an uphill battle everyday. Hopefully someone will have the good sense to bring out a book on pits that really shows their good nature and the loving animal they are. Remember there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.
on March 29, 2005
Mr. Joseph set out to produce a pictorial book that captured the essence of people who live with, train, breed and love the breed of dog known as the American Pit Bull Terrier. He wanted to capture all aspects of the people who are involved with these dogs, and I believe he did just that. My family and I are some of those people! We are not criminals, we are not millionaires. My husband is a lab technician, my son is in kindergarten and I'm the president for the local pit bull club! Any good book will invoke a reaction, good or bad, and you usually can't have one without the other. Most of Marc Joseph's pictures catch humble dog owners in their day to day life... whatever that may be. Not everyone lives in a big house in the suburbs with the white picket fence. If you want to see "nice, nice" wait for Martha Stewart's next book... that is as soon as she comes off of house arrest!
on December 29, 2003
This is a great book filled with hundreds of colorful pics of pit bulls and the people who love and respect them. I can understand why the person above me who reviewed this book says that some of the pics are questionable (heavy chains, treadmills), but those things do not mean that the owners hate, abuse or fight their animals. Some of the pics (only SOME) may make a novice dog enthusiast believe that a heavy lumber chain and an outside dog house means abuse, but it truly does not. The book even lists various pit bull rescues in the back, and the text portion of the book dispels all the rumors involving human aggression and the "killer dog" myth. Do not let a few misleading photographs force you away from this book. Yes some of the pics, like the one with the mother dog with the huge chain on her neck and her pups nursing from her does seem a little excessive, but that does not mean that her owners scream at her, beat her, fight her etc. The whelping box looked quite clean actually. The author and photographer had only good intentions when putting this book together. It is not a documentary of vile dog fights. Oh, and by the way, the pics that show a pit bull going after a wild boar is very common, as many pit bulls are used as catch dogs (dogs that grab ahold of boar and wild pigs and pin them down. american bulldogs are used for this too. this is legal and is common down south). A good book, and buying it DOES NOT mean you hate APBTs.
on January 31, 2004
This is an excellent photographic book about American Pit Bull Terriers - a book that might even dispell some of the ongoing false myths about this great breed (see the text portion of the book, too). A few people who have written Amazon reviews here have indicated that they are uncomfortable with some of the pictures, and have written (vehemently, even) against this book. Well I can tell you that a dog on a chain does not represent cruelty in any way, unless that dog has been treated in a cruel manner. The APBTs in these pictures look well cared for, and the kennel facilities that are shown look to be top-notch. My wife and I have been to the ADBA dog shows, like the ones in this book. We have raised quite a few and rescued quite a few pit bulls in our time, and I can say that the author accurately depicted the good natured atmosphere surrounding the people and dogs who participate in these events. The pictures show the diversity of the breed, as well as the diversity of the people who are lovers of the breed. Those who are interviewed include several well known breeders and owners (a veterinary technician / obedience instructor, even). I would say that there are people here in the book who are more than qualified to comment with authority on the APBT (Frank Rocca, for example). It is very clear to me and the friends to whom I've given this book to as a gift (21.00 here on Amazon which is a total bargain) that the people in the book love their dogs. We have spent a good deal of time enjoying this book, and will continue to do so.
on February 18, 2004
Way different from what you always see in the "breed book" type books. Loads of great photos of this great breed- that's the best reason to pick up this one. I think that this one is an original, and really worth having.