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Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies

by Simon J. Bronner

Availablecloth$60.00x 978-0-8131-2528-2
320 pages  Pubdate: 11/21/2008  6 x 9 x 1  44

Is hunting a bygone activity, out of touch with modern life; or is it valuable as an escape from it? Does hunting promote violence, not just to animals, but to humans as well? Is hunting, with its connection to the land and frontier experience, a heritage worth preserving? These questions form the foundations for discussion in Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies. Simon J. Bronner sorts through the issues and goes behind the headlines to examine the basis of this hotly-charged subject. Using case studies as evidence, Bronner looks at a topic at the center of modern cultural debate.

Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished University Professor of American Studies and Folklore and director of the Pennsylvania Center for Culture Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. He is the editor of the four-volume Encyclopedia of American Folklife, Manly Traditions: The Folk Roots of American Masculinities, Consuming Visions: Accumulation and Display of Goods in America, 1880-1920, and other volumes, and the author of several books, including Folk Nation: Folklore in the Creation of American Tradition, Grasping Things: Folk Material Culture and Mass Society in America, Following Tradition: Folklore in the Discourse of American Culture, and The Carver’s Art: Crafting Meaning from Wood.

“Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies is invaluable to students and scholars in a variety of fields, especially those in folklore, culture studies, history, and American studies.” Ronald L. Baker, Chairperson Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English, Indiana -- Ronald L. Baker, Chairperson Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English, Indiana

“Killing Tradition makes a significant contribution to a range of academic fields relating to studies of human-animal relations. In particular it makes a valuable contribution to the still-sparse academic literature that seeks to explore, understand, and interpret varieties of sports hunting as cultural events. Extremely well written and a pleasure to read.” Garry Marvin, Roehampton University -- Garry Marvin, Roehampton University

“In this impressive study of the culture wars over hunting and of the clash between folk traditions and the forces of modernity, Bronner mines a broad variety of evidence and employs the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines to show the deeply mythic meanings at stake as hunters defend their traditions against animal rights activists and others who seek to ban blood sports.” Jay Mechling, University of California, Davis -- Jay Mechling, University of California, Davis

"Simon Bronner’s fascinating, fair-minded, and beautifully written book forcefully demonstrates the centrality of hunting and animal rights issues to any consideration of modern culture. Richly informed by the interdisciplinary fields of folklore, American studies, psychology, gender studies, popular culture, geography, and comparative history, Bronner uses deer hunting, pigeon shooting, and hare-coursing in order to illuminate the highly contested meanings of tradition and modernity in American and British society."--Janet M. Davis, University of Texas at Austin -- Janet M. Davis

"Simon Bronner’s Killing Tradition is engaging, clearly written, and generous." David Romtvedt, www.dailyyonder.com -- David Romtvedt -- www.dailyyonder.com

“Quite an interesting read. Highly recommended.” Choice -- Choice

"[a] rich offering of ethnographic fieldwork and literary scholarship...the material is presented with great gusto...fascinating reading that includes the ethnography of the hunters, shooters, and coursers themselves and that of their opponents...[the book] is really about something far deeper, today's complex values-clashes: rural versus urban, provinical versus cosmopolitan, conservative versus liberal, patriarchal versus gender-egalitarian, traditional versus modern, and whether or not humans subdue nature or allow themselves to be part of it." Journal of Folklore Research -- Journal of Folklore Research