BRONWEN DICKEYis an essayist and journalist who writes regularly for the Oxford American. Her work has also appeared inThe New York Times,Slate, The Best American Travel Writing 2009,Newsweek,andOutside,among other publications. In 2009 she received a first-place Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award and a MacDowell Colony residency grant. She lives in North Carolina. From the Hardcover edition.
An NPR Best Book of 2016
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016
"This is a very good book... Ms. Dickey has earned her
reputation as a first-rate reporter." --The Wall Street
Terrific... [Dickey] does more than simply dispel the many myths around pit bulls; she strives to explore what those myths can tell us about ourselves. This beautifully written, heartbreaking book is not just for dog lovers -- it's for anyone interested in race, class, history and the complexity of media narratives. --NPR
Ms. Dickey not only writes about the ebb and flow of public fear and loathing, she takes the reader on a thoroughly comprehensible tour of genetics and behavioral science to explain why breeding never guarantees an individual dog's personality, and shouldn't be used to condemn it.... Picking out one breed to blame is neither warranted nor effective, and a reader of her book will be hard put to disagree. --The New York Times "Brilliant... A powerful and disturbing book that shows how the rise of the killer-pit bull narrative reflects many broader American anxieties and pathologies surrounding race, class, and poverty... A remarkable study of our capacities for cruelty and compassion toward dogs and other humans, and an eloquent argument for abandoning the fears and prejudices that have made pit bulls in particular the victims of mistreatment." --Christian Science Monitor "Like the pit bull itself, this book is sturdy, complicated and resists easy categorization... As Dickey exhaustively demonstrates, there is no 'aggression gene' and no such thing as a dangerous breed." --The New York Times Book Review In covering a subject that evokes strong, deep-seated emotions, Dickey herself refrains from making sweeping judgments about the pit-bull temperament. She neither condemns nor exalts these dogs. The story of the pit bull is complex, and at times heartbreaking. It's fraught with cruelty and poverty, but also compassion, generosity, and, occasionally, clear-headed thinking. Somehow, Dickey manages to find hope for the future of this dog and its reputation. --LA Review of Books