The Battle Over An American IconBook - 2016
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.
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“The people they claim to be advocating for, they deserve better than that,” Dickey said. “They deserve somebody hanging out at city hall, not in the comments section.”
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