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Showing 1-10 of 19 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on February 9, 2008
My social group and myself consider ourselves progressives, so I thought this book would be worthwhile, although the cynical title implied that this book would deliver more style than substance. What I got, however, was pretentious drivel written by one of the many insufferable baby boomers who, in addition to having no concept of sustainability - environmental, economic, or otherwise - continue to subject us with their bad ideas and philosophies that, under their leadership, will leave the world a much worse off place for me and my children. In this book, the author manages to:

*Criticize evangelicals for believing that the Biblical character David is real despite evidence to the contrary (which I agree). But then operates under the assumption that those whose education does not go beyond high school are more likely to vote Republican. Actually, 69% of people who did not finish high school in the 2004 presidential election voted for Kerry, 57% of those with Bachelor's voted for Bush, and 59% of those with advanced degrees voted for Kerry (according to the U.S. Census and Univ. of Michigan National Election Studies Center). Criticizing one group for an action while simultaneously doing the same thing yourself has a word.

*Labels two-year colleges as "anti-intellectual," but yet projects Harvard as bastian of progressivism and intellectualism, asserting that evangelical philosophy will never find room there (it doesn't at two-year colleges either). If the author based his assertions on facts, not anecdote, emotions, or uninformed assumptions, he would realize that the colleges in Madison, Berkeley, New Haven, and Cambridge, do a much better job of educating and serving the needs of the corporate (through research grants) and individual super-rich elite than they do about getting rid of intergenerational inequality. These institutions receive billions in public tax dollars (even Harvard and Yale do through research and financial aid), and enroll only a tiny number of first-generation and low-income students. You don't have to be smart to go to Harvard; you just have to be rich.

*Glorifies the past (1960's) just as well as any conservative does (anytime before the 1960's). Does the author realize that in the 1960's another generation was in charge and now that baby boomers (who cut their teeth in the 1960's) are in charge and in a position to do something about it, educational equality, according to the author, has gotten worse?

*Offers over 250 pages of complaints with only a vague paragraph about solutions - "more education," I think. Remarkably, the author asserts that education is one key to the problem, but then criticizes the only postsecondary sector (two-year colleges) that is actually doing anything meaningful about increasing access and enhancing equity.

These are only a few of the many problems with this book. Overgeneralizing a giant issue (class war), providing no historical context, providing very little to no evidence to back up claims, and complaining without offering solutions might have been a strategy in the 1960's, but today there are more effective strategies, like when presenting an idea or thesis "ideas based on evidence" and "solutions." Skip this book and read anything by Zinn, Chomsky, or for a much better alternative to this book, David Shipler's The Working Poor.
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on May 31, 2015
Could not get past the subject matter.
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on March 1, 2015
Glad I purchased this book used so I did not waste a lot of money. Typical progressive babble. The best part is it was written before the progressives won the White House, and we all know the poor are doing real well since the progressives got their hands on the nations checkbook.

I am not a Republican either, my eyes are wide open so I can be truthful to myself.
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on March 6, 2014
This is the worst bunch of drivel I have ever read. Bottom line, the Scots Irish are to blame. Now you can go read a good book.
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on April 27, 2014
This could have been a good read, but the author's mindless rants against Republicans spoils it. As he correctly points out Democrats had control of Congress for most of the 20th Century yet did little to better things for working Americans. Most of what they foisted upon us actually made things worse. Yet in spite of the truth that he himself acknowledges, he blathers on about evil Republicans. Save your money, you can get the same sort of claptrap from most major TV news shows. I gave it 1 star because lower ratings are no possible.
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on June 27, 2013
Very poorly written. Ridicules the people he talks about. Has lots of criticisms about social conditions in his town, but offers no solutions.
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on February 25, 2012
I can't imagine why anyone would want to read this book, or why it gets such glowing reviews.

Bageant seems to accomplish the reconnection with his roots by filling his preface with Murdochian Faux News caricatures of "Liberal elitists" who can't connect with the folks in the town in which he grew up. So I struggled through the silly preface figuring that the book had to get better. It didn't! In the first few pages of the first chapter Bageant castigates nameless "Democrats" several times for the lack of a national health care policy and cold-hearted Federal agency bureaucrats enforcing the badly-written rules to-the-letter while introducing us to an overweight, diabetic woman in a beer hall who sure can karaoke like Patsy Cline. Sorry, my silly-caricature-sensitivity-meter blew out at that point.

Obviously this was written before the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Sure, Obama was negotiating the Articles of Defeat over this and too many other pieces of needed legislation even before the first opposing shots were fired. And, sure, the ACA won't go far enough when if takes effect in 2014 (though, hey, getting rid of pre-existing condition clauses and keeping un-employed 20-somethings on their parents policies has meaning). But Bageant's not mentioning or even not directing some of his ire to the politicians whose answers to everything are tax cuts for the wealthy and more corporate breaks and subsidies removes this book from the realm of the worthwhile and the serious. If Bageant can be so glib and misdirected in a few pages, how much could I (or anyone else) trust his depictions, his sympathies for the town, or his explanations of why places like rural, poverty-stricken Virginia vote for conservative Republican?

Save your money. Better yet, contribute to Freeclinics and Doctors Without Borders, organizations that actually do get medical assistance to people in need.
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on April 29, 2014
"Deer Hunting with Jesus," The name itself is sacrilegious and disrespectful of the very people this "author" fails miserably to dissect with his dull little instrument. Though he makes a great deal out of being born and raised among the people of Winchester, it is painfully evident that any tenuous bit of kinship he had with them is gone, and has been completely replaced by his thorough indoctrination in the religion of the radical far left. Because of this, he has lost any right he may have had to attempt to speak of these people as "one of them." Of course, his unending rants against Republicans, and his obvious disdain of Christianity, make it more than clear that he is not trying to present an unbiased portrait, but one clearly rooted in the far left wing fringe of the progressive movement.
This book is nothing more than the airing of the personal biases of one man, who, in his hubris, emotes thick, unwanted pity for those "poor benighted souls" of Winchester that didn't have the good sense to follow him to the progressive promised land, so that, they too, could have their blinded conservative eyes opened to the beautiful truth of far left progressive thought. Yep, just another liberal screed. Don't waste your time.
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on November 20, 2009
I can't believe this book got as far as it did.

This is 267 pages of bitterness. Bageant hates poor white people. He hates anyone "religious" enough to bring faith into the world outside the church. He hates conservatives because they are megalomaniacs who steal from anything that moves. He hates elitist liberals who don't try to "understand" the poor. He hates people who watch television. He hates anyone with Scots-Irish blood, because that undesirable ancestry guarantees that they will be "fanatically religious and war loving." Racist? No, it's fine, because he's white too. He hates people who spend all their time working in factories, yet hates people who rise above those humble roots and make money in real estate or law. And don't get him started on Bush--the depth of that hatred could blow the man away.

Bageant mocks every aspect of white low-class life. He makes sweeping generalizations and backs them up by describing one or two real-life examples. He spent 30 years away from this town, and then decided he was qualified to write about Winchester as an insider. He bases this book on opinion stated as fact, and searches for readers as bitter and elitist as he is.
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on March 28, 2014
I don't know what to write about this book. It's what we know. This book is redundant and it isn't written well.
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