Item description for Marc Joseph: American Pitbull by Marc Joseph & James Frey...
Mainstream media coverage of Pit Bull dogs and the people involved with them is commonly negative and oversimplified so as to focus on dog related violence on humans (including many breeds), and other criminal activity, sometimes drug and gang related. Public opinion in the United States and Europe has been uniformly shaped by this portrayal. American Pitbull is a photographic exploration into the culture of American Pit Bull dogs and their people, presenting an alternative view of the controversial world revolving around a uniquely American breed of dog and the human beings that live for them. Over a three-year period photographer Marc Joseph traveled the United States photographing Pit Bull dogs, their owners, breeders and "old time dog men," at their homes and yards, and during various events related to the breed. The relationships formed with his subjects have helped Joseph to gain full access to a culture known by few outside of their specific community. The fanatical, almost religious devotion that Pit Bull people attribute to their breed is clearly portrayed in Josephps pictures. Issues of identity are addressed through elements of image, race, pride, and background, while the photographs simultaneously serve to further an understanding of our perceptions of unconditional love, beauty, danger, and strength. Themes of family and shelter are prominent; throughout the series a cast of characters emerges, themselves defining the context of the book. From the elder-statesmen of the Pit Bull world in New England and the Southern United States such as Louis B. Colby and Floyd Boudreaux, to new-school giants the Hip-Hop music scene on the East and West coasts, such as Big Boi from Outkast, and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, American Pitbull clearly goes to the heart of what and why people feel so strongly for these dogs. Writer James Frey A Million Little Pieces( Nan A. Talese / Doubleday) contributes an historically informative and personally sensitive essay, that, along with Marc Joseph's photographs, may well change a few minds on this, most misunderstood of all of man's best friends.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Marc Joseph: American Pitbull?
both sides of the fence Aug 4, 2007
As a pitbull owner, there were parts of this book that saddened me. Seeing pitbulls chained up and some of the stereotypical owners that fight their dogs, was not pleasing. However, I thought that some of the editorials from these owners were interesting and although I disagree with some of their views, it was a realistic look at the other side of breeding and owning pitbulls. I found the logic used by some of these breeders, quite dumbfounding. Because pitbulls were breed 200 years ago to fight, it's O.K. to continue this sport. Well, if that were the case, we can say that African Americans were bred to be slaves, but today, is that legal and humane? The government and society doesn't think so and neither is using past history to mistreat and abuse a great and misunderstood breed! So again, some of the commentary was disturbing, but I feel, like a few other reviewers, that this is another book I can talk about to people who are weary of pitbulls and say, "This is another reason to get educated!"
Disappointing, but with beautiful photos Jul 12, 2007
The reviews of this book are clearly divided into two camps: those who love the breed and want to see it preserved in a positive manner, and those who love the breed FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS. The pit bull is a magnificent dog that receives a tremendous amount of "bad press" and has all but met its destruction because of the actions of a small yet extremely prolific population of criminals, animal abusers and other lowlifes who want to have a "bad" dog as a means of public intimidation and to boost their own anti-social image.
A normal pit bull is versatile, charming, incredibly athletic, fun loving, and safe to have around other animals and small children. A normal pit bull does not live its life on a short chain tied to a barrel, or chew your baby's leg off when you're not looking. A normal pit bull is not inappropriately and indiscriminately aggressive to just about everything around it. Even in the "good old days", before dog fights were outlawed, unstable and dangerous animals were summarily euthanized.
But today, because of these hoodlums and stupid, cruel people, we now have BSL (breed-specific legislation) in many jurisdictions that unfairly penalizes the animals and their LAW ABIDING owners. Also because of these people, we have a larger-than-normal population of unstable, mental case or otherwise inferior animals that are a direct result of indiscriminate and careless breeding, all for a quick buck and the opportunity to produce the most vicious dog possible. ALSO because of these people, we have experienced the various tragedies and maulings associated with this dog that make front-page news.
Unfortunately, this book portrays the American Pit Bull Terrier mostly in the stereotypical context of those people who love them "for all the wrong reasons". Stereotypes don't arise in a vacuum, and it is precisely because of the people who actually fit the "stereotypes" in question that so many animals of this breed are in the sad condition that we see today. I would give it only one star, but in all honesty, the photography is outstanding. Is that enough of a reason to buy the book? You decide.
Wonderful Book Dec 21, 2006
I read some of the reviews and was a little hesitant to get it, but I am glad I did. I am devoted to the breed and have been for over 10 years, I've owned rescue Bull Dogs and have purchased pups from breeders too. I do everything I can to portray and present these dogs as the family and companion dogs. I have also done extensive research on the breed over that time. There is nothing in this book that paints a negative picture of the breed, I think it does just the opposite, if you truly understand what you are looking at. Most of the "dogs on heavy chains" and "in cages" are at breeders kennels, that's how kennels are, for all breeds of dogs. The shot of the muzzled dog is being breed, not being made mean. These dogs are pictured at weight pulls and conformation shows! There is not one picture or word in this book that advocates fighting or mistreatment of these dogs. If you can get past your stereotypes and want to own a nicely done photographic essay on people and their dogs, then this book is for you. If you disliked the book, do some real research on the breed and take another look, I'm sure you will enjoy it then.
Marc Joseph: American Pitbull Dec 1, 2006
I am without words to describe how horrible this book is, as a pitbull lover I was horrified by the how far back this book put the idea of the american pitbull, as if the media dosn't do enough damage. The image of mean, clipped, and heavily chained or caged dogs, with their skin head or back woods owners, Treating them like dangerous animals that need to be chained to a wall or caged in a pen will be put in the memory of anyone who hasn't had the experience to own one of these awesome, loving family dogs.They say they love their dogs so why are they chained or muzzled, because they made them mean thats why. This book promotes everything negative about pitbulls and their owners, most owners are normal working class families who treat their dog as a family member, not a killer with a prison sentence who needs to be restrained. This book should not be sold on this site, I for one will boy-cot buying anything through this site until this book is off and so should all true lovers of this breed, all other books i bought through this site were great!!
so disappointing Apr 9, 2006
This book only perpetuates the stereotypes of this breed(s), and exemplifies the types of people I wish we could prevent from owning these rewarding dogs. As I write this my two pit bull rescues are vying for a sleeping position on my lap - so if I misspell a word, it's because I have over 100lbs of sleeping pit bull on my lap and can barely reach my keyboard! I was so disappointed to see all the photos of these dogs chained up outside - I know my dogs would be miserable if they were forced to be separated from the rest of the family. In fact, pit bulls make great cuddlers and would probably develop nasty temperaments if left chained up all day. I don't know how these people can call themselves "fans" of the breed - to them the dogs seem no better than a pair of tennis shoes that are disposable. If you are unfamiliar with this breed, please know that none of the people I know who own pits look like any of the people in this book. Most are families with dogs that get spoiled rotten like every other lab, golden or other stereotypical family dog in the U.S.