We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War | [Joe Bageant]

Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

After 30 years spent scratching together a middle-class life out of a “dirt poor” childhood, Joe Bageant moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, where he realized that his family and neighbors were the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory. That was ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

After 30 years spent scratching together a middle-class life out of a “dirt poor” childhood, Joe Bageant moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, where he realized that his family and neighbors were the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory. That was ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. Two in five of the people in his old neighborhood do not have high-school diplomas. Nearly everyone over 50 has serious health problems, and many have no health care. Credit ratings are low or nonexistent, and alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape.

A raucous mix of storytelling and political commentary, Deer Hunting with Jesus is Bageant's report on what he learned by coming home. He writes of his childhood friends who work at factory jobs that are constantly on the verge of being outsourced; the mortgage and credit-card rackets that saddle the working poor with debt, i.e., “white trashonomics”; the ubiquitous gun culture - and why the left doesn't get it; Scots Irish culture and how it played out in the young life of Lynddie England; and the blinkered “magical thinking” of the Christian right. (Bageant's brother is a Baptist pastor who casts out demons.)

What it all adds up to, he asserts, is an unacknowledged class war. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks".

Deer Hunting with Jesus is a potent antidote to what Bageant dubs "the American hologram" - the televised, corporatized virtual reality that distracts us from the insidious realities of American life.

©2007 Joseph L. Bageant (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Bageant mixes a reporter's keen analysis, a storyteller's color, and a native son's love of his roots in this absorbing dissection of America's working poor.... Through the lives of his friends and family, Bageant explores the importance of hunting, religion, and redneck pride in what he describes as the 'American hologram.' A wise, tender, and acerbic look at life among America's working poor." (Booklist)

"Joe Bageant is a brilliant writer. He evokes working class America like no one else. The account of his revisit to his Virginia roots is sobering, poignant, and instructive." (Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (78 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.1 (71 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.2 (73 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jim Napa, CA, United States 12-01-11
    Jim Napa, CA, United States 12-01-11 Member Since 2011

    Worked in radio stations all over California from A to Z; KABC, Los Angeles and KZAP, Sacramento plus many more in between. I was a voice talent, copy writer and production director; I'm retired now but still do voice overs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wake Up!"

    If you’ve ever wondered why a certain demographic seem disposed to vote for things that are diametrically opposed to their well being then you’ll be entertained and enlightened by Deer Hunting With Jesus, dispatches from America’s class war. Joe Bageant, the author gives liberals a great deal to think about.
    The author reads with passion and offers simple, real life vignettes that resonate with the reader or listener. Mr. Bageant grew up in small town Virginia where the chief employer is the Rubbermaid plant. The folks he talks about, and he includes himself, are for the most part ignorant—not stupid— and there’s a big distinction; uneducated, and poor they don’t have time to learn because they are far too busy earning a living.
    This isn’t a long book but it’s full of specifics that if liberals ever understood they might even get the conservative, Christian vote.
    As a marketing guy and copywriter I’d offer this advise to the author’s publisher. Get Deer Hunting With Jesus onto the nightstands of people like Jon Stewart of Comedy Channel fame along with Rachel Madow on MSNBC. They will book Joe Bageant in quick order and enlighten a group of people who have never heard of this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia J. Taylor San Leandro, California United States 01-30-12
    Patricia J. Taylor San Leandro, California United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self-analysis of an American underclass"
    If you could sum up Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War in three words, what would they be?

    insightful irreverent compassionate


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War?

    The image of the oxygen-tank-tethered woman who refused to quit singing her Patsy Cline karaoke, a woman whose health had been used up by her employers, became for me the icon of Scots-Irish/white-trash resistance to disposal by corporate-run America.


    Have you listened to any of Fred Stella???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have heard Fred Stella's reading before. I was a bit disconcerted by what I perceived as the inconsistency of his accent, which I suppose was to sound like Joe Bageant's.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved by Bageant's sense of loss when he realized that his old buddy no longer questioned the system that was impoverishing him.


    Any additional comments?

    It was sad to hear that Joe Bageant died recently. I hope his other writings will be made available on Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Raleigh, NC, United States 08-18-12
    Martha Raleigh, NC, United States 08-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for those easily offended"
    What made the experience of listening to Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War the most enjoyable?

    His style is sarcastic and crude, and many won’t like it because of that - but he has a unique perspective on why small town Americans constantly vote, think and “church” the way they do.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elicka Boone, NC, United States 07-11-12
    Elicka Boone, NC, United States 07-11-12 Member Since 2010

    Non-fiction, fiction--I read widely. Except bodice rippers. I'd rather pull my own eyelashes out than read romance. Avid, happy reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant and Hilarious"

    Ever wonder why lower class, NASCAR watching, Elvis on black velvet types vote against their own self interests? Ever wondered why they view things the way they do? Ever wonder why people become Christian nationalists? This book will make you understand (and make you more understanding) . . . . It is a no BS, no holds-barred, well-researched, kind, and much-needed bit of social commentary.

    The personal stories of the various people in the town where Joe Bagaent grew up are engrossing and illuminating. You'll care about these people and their struggles. The book is so well-written that you'll picture sitting in their living rooms, hanging out with them at a bar, or talking with them in their churches. You'll easily see the disconnect between liberal intellectuals and this large segment of the population, and Bagaent's book provides an implicit and explicit guide for bridging that gap.

    It is also hysterically funny in many, many parts, and engaging to the point where you will have a hard time putting it down. The narrarator, Fred Stella, may be the best I've EVER heard, and I've listened to 115 books on Audible. His accents are all incredibly authentic (various 'southern crackers,' Scottish brogue . . . ), his comedic timing is fantastic--I can't say enough.

    You will NOT regret buying this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 09-15-12
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 09-15-12 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1640
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    254
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    554
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You mean people REALLY live like that?"

    Very interesting look at a culture we see a lot on TV or in fiction but that I never really thought about being "real".

    I found the book to be very enlightening, and makes me realize that the United States is in very very big trouble going forward. When an education system loses a large segment of the population to "Christian" schools because it's better to have illiterate children who believe in the literality of the Bible than to have the races mixing, or there is an anti-Democratic movement because people who rely on hunting in order to feed their families think those "liberals" want to eliminate their way of life, or aging people with serious medical problems because they think a box of mini-cakes is a reasonable snack and are too exhausted working for crap-wages to do any physical fitness are sent to homes that smell like feces and urine... well... this doesn't strike me as leading to a decent future for anyone.

    Trouble is that the people who need to read this book are too poor to buy it, too illiterate to read it, and too busy working for minimum wage to find time for it... and those of us who do read this are the people who can never understand what it's like to be trapped in a box of poverty and ignorance.

    It makes me sad. And scared. And what a shame that so many people live their lives with no hope beyond catching the season finale of their favorite television show after a 12 hour day of work where they earned barely enough to cover their monthly payment on their trailer. It's no wonder they swallow the "hologram" - hook, line and sinker.

    9 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 01-08-13
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 01-08-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The truth hurts. Objective, factual and honest."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War to be better than the print version?

    He is now on my watch 'short list' for print and audio.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The implication that the available workforce of certain regions are saught by some corporations.


    What about Fred Stella’s performance did you like?

    He narrated as if he wrote the book himself and was speaking from memory. Adlibing along the way. Very natural sounding guy.


    Any additional comments?

    The author is an ambidextrous basher and advocate. True objectivity if there is such a thing is rare and refreshing. He does not let ideals get in the way of his very solid take on various issues.The book was deeply engaging and I wished for much more. The narrator was a great choice and completely natural for this book. I'm looking for more by Bageant, but sadly nothing. I hope to see some soon. He is definately on my watch list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Union, NJ, United States 07-31-12
    Christopher Union, NJ, United States 07-31-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Socialist's depiction of working class America"

    The book is entertaining, and makes you think. The author has a socialist bent - he holds the opinion that if there were no rich people, everything would somehow be better. His characterization and depiction of the realities of the working class are honest, though. He makes excellent points and it's hard to argue with his views on most matters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Tijeras, NM, United States 07-28-12
    Janet Tijeras, NM, United States 07-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What is he talking about?"
    Would you try another book from Joe Bageant and/or Fred Stella?

    Not if Fred Stella was reading it! His voice sounds stuffy and slightly British and doesn't at all match up with what the author is talking about. I had such a hard time understanding him that I had a hard time understanding the reading material.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Fred Stella?

    Morgan Freedman would be awesome!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The books concept was interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a waist of money!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.