Bronwen Dickey

discusses

Pit Bull:
The Battle over an American Icon

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jun
28
Tuesday
June 28, 2016
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes journalist BRONWEN DICKEY for a discussion of her book Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon, the story of how a popular breed of dog became the most demonized and supposedly the most dangerous of dogs—and what role humans have played in the transformation.  

About Pit Bull

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.

Praise

“A thoughtful examination of pit bulls and an intense look at ourselves and society. Dickey adeptly scrutinizes the science used to condemn pit bulls to separate fact from fiction and thus weaves a narrative that artfully relays both the hard science and the emotion of the pit bull issue. . . . This exceptional, thoroughly researched, and expertly written work is a must.” Library Journal

“An appealing look at how our relationships with man's best friend provides a mirror of cultural mores.” —Kirkus Reviews

"[Dickey] illuminates many of the facts and exposes many of the myths surrounding pit bulls and dogs in general. . . . Dickey's immersive and illuminating work deserves a wide audience." —Publishers Weekly

“The ‘pit bull’ is a legend, a fear, an exaggeration, a bête noire. Bronwen Dickey does this misunderstood animal the great service of looking beyond the myth. What she finds are dogs who deserve better than we've been giving them.” —Alexandra Horowitz, author, Inside of a Dog

Bronwen Dickey
Bronwen Dickey

Bronwen Dickey

Bronwen Dickey is an essayist and journalist who writes regularly for the Oxford American. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Best American Travel Writing 2009, Newsweek, and Outside, 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.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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