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Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon…
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Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon (utgåvan 2016)

av Bronwen Dickey (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1145191,260 (4.56)2
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, TV'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 helped spark the founding of the 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 medals, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were 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.… (mer)
Medlem:jordynblew
Titel:Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon
Författare:Bronwen Dickey (Författare)
Info:Vintage (2016), 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon av Bronwen Dickey

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Visar 5 av 5
Fantastically well-researched, this book examines and explains the history of dogs in America - both under the "pit bull" umbrella and not. Through a historical and sociological lens from the beginning of America through today, this is a fascinating journey with deep insight and compassion for all parties. The author strikes a very delicate balance threading the line between the sides to illuminate a whole that is larger than breed: all dogs are dogs.

Really, I can't say enough good things about this book. I bought the book after reading two excerpts because of how thought-provoking they were, and then devoured the book in one sitting because I couldn't pull myself away.

Investigative journalism at its finest - a culmination of years of research plus a thorough list of sources. ( )
  hillaritron | Aug 16, 2021 |
The American pit bull is a dog with a confused and troubled history. It's become the definition of the vicious dog, the dangerous dog, the dog that will go from lying quietly beside you on the couch to tearing your kids to shreds, for no apparent reason and with no warning.

And anyone will tell you it has "always" been that way.

Except that when I was a kid, that dog was the Doberman Pinscher. Well, except when it was the German Shepherd.

Since then, it was the rottweiler for a decade or so.

In the 19th century, for some of the time it was the bloodhound, and some of the time it was the white spitz dog--a dog also known to be a major spreader of rabies. This terrifying breed is now better known as the American Eskimo dog, a fluffy, adorable American house pet, one of the most successful rebranding efforts in history.

Bronwen Dickey and her husband adopted a dog from their local shelter, and afterwards were told that she looked like a "pit bull." Dickey looked at the scary pit bull stories, and her sweet pet, and got very interested in the history of the pit bull. It's a story that encompasses bull dogs and terriers, fighting dogs, American military dogs, and working farm dogs. It includes some of the biggest early canine stars of the silver screen, and dogs who scramble for survival with their human companions on the mean streets of the inner cities. It includes the "game bred" dogs of those who love the heritage but would never fight their own dogs, and the softer, easier dogs of those who love the look and the strength but see the "game bred" spirit as something best left to history.

And it includes not only the American Pit Bull Terrier (registered with the United Kennel Club) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (the American Kennel Club's version of the same dog), the Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and several other breeds that may or may not be called "put bulls" by one authority or another, but a wide range of mixed breed dogs that look like one or more of these breeds and may or may not be crosses or mixes of them. That's part of the challenge and terror of loving these dogs. They are so often banned, and in some places seized and killed, and usually the only determiner of whether or not your dog is "a pit bull" is your landlord or your neighbors or your local animal control officer who has no more training in visual identification of breeds than your landlord or your neighbors have. Your dog who has never so much as growled at anyone can suddenly be on trial for her life for having a short coat and a broad head.

Dickey interviewed those who love the American Pit Bull Terrier as recognized by the UKC, and those who love all the "pit bull" mixed breed dogs in shelters or owned by inner city residents most often targeted by "dangerous dog" laws. She talked to those who've done extensive research on dog bites and dog behavior, and those who reject the research as being the product of "the pit bull lobby," a shadowy, sinister perceived presence allegedly bent on keeping dangerous dogs on the streets.

It's a fascinating journey through the history of an American breed type, and Randye Kaye does an excellent job of narration.

Recommended.

I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
A bit too pedantic and repetitive. I got tired of it and put it down. Too many other things to read. ( )
  njcur | Dec 22, 2017 |
Hey, did you know that race has infected every issue in America? Dickey’s almost-aside on the history of discrimination and defamation against slaves’ dogs comes late in the book, but race appears throughout. (She says “race” was actually a term borrowed from animal breeding.) People make claims about pit bulls and other breeds based on supposed genetic predispositions to certain behaviors, including viciousness; Dickey points out that racism infects both defenders and detractors of the breeds, who both use stereotypes of (bad) pit bull owners who are urban, poor, “pimps” and “thugs”—all code for black and lower-class. Dickey suggests that the real problem is poverty; that most dogs’ owners love them even when they don’t have the resources and knowledge to treat them in the best way; that many more dogs of all breeds survive terrible conditions without turning vicious; and that individual variation among dogs is the key source of potential danger. Genetic identification of “pit bulls” is actually impossible, and that many dogs that are called “pit bulls” aren’t purebred and even sometimes aren’t even mixes of the technical categories dog breeders use to define them. Dog bite statistics also suggest that whatever breed of dog becomes popularly known as a guard dog type will get more than its share of media attention whenever one dog who kind of looks like it belongs to that breed bites someone; it’s self-reinforcing, in that people who want vicious dogs will gravitate to whatever dog is known as vicious. ( )
  rivkat | Jan 26, 2017 |
Exceptional book. Full of history and good research. A must read. ( )
  wolfeyluvr | Jun 22, 2016 |
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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, TV'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 helped spark the founding of the 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 medals, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were 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.

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