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The Fair Chase: The Epic Story of Hunting in America

Philip Dray

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History

An award-winning historian tells the story of hunting in America, showing how this sport has shaped our national identity.

An award-winning historian tells the story of hunting in America, showing how this sport has shaped our national identity In the nineteenth century, hunting was popularized as a cure for the "softness" of urban life. The hunting code of ethics, known as fair chase, became a kind of worldview almost overnight, permanently embedding in our culture certain ideals of independence, fairness, manliness, and resourcefulness, as well as promoting the romance of the West. But hunting is also entwined with some of the more fraught aspects of American history, including the appropriation of Native American culture, egregious overhunting, Manifest Destiny, and even eugenics and Social Darwinism.

In this sweeping, empathetic, and balanced book, historian Philip Dray explores how hunting has shaped the American psyche.

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