Joe Bageant (1946–2011) was an American author and columnist known for his 2007 book Deer Hunting With Jesus.
Life and Work
In Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War Bageant discusses how Democrats have lost the political support of poor rural whites and how the Republican Party has convinced these individuals to "vote against their own economic self-interest." The book is mainly centered on his hometown, Winchester.
In 2010, Bageant published a similarly themed book, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir. Bageant used his extended family’s post WW II years experience to describe the social hierarchy in the United States of America. The book examines the post-war journey of 22 million rural Americans into the cities, where they became, the author argues, the foundation of a permanent white underclass and comprise much of today’s heartland “red state” voters.
Bageant frequently appeared as a commentator on radio and television internationally, and wrote a progressive online column distributed to hundreds of blogs and websites. He maintained his own blog Joe Bageant.com, assisted by Ken Smith who has continued editing the blog since Bageant's death. Bageant also served as a senior (roving) editor with Cyrano's Journal Today and The Greanville Post, two sites devoted to progressive political and media analyses.
During the last years of his life, Bageant lived in Ajijic, a small town on Lake Chapala in central Mexico. He had been living in Ajijic (where he wrote "Rainbow Pie") when he learned that he had a fast-growing and inoperable cancer. On January 4, 2011, Bageant announced on his web site that he had been "struck down by an extremely serious form of cancer" which was inoperable and was unable to engage in correspondence or his usual work, but hoped to be able to resume them in the future.
After Joe died, his Australian publisher asked Bageant's literary executor, Ken Smith, to select and edit about 80,000 words worth of Joe's essays. This book was published in November 2011 as "Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball: The Best of Joe Bageant". Upon its original publication, this posthumous collection was only available in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where, according to Smith, it sold reasonably well. According to Smith: "no American publisher is yet interested in a book by a redneck socialist -- and that says a lot about American culture and the US book business." When his friends at "The Greanville Post" learned about the seriousness of his condition, he was unanimously voted as Editor Emeritus of the publication.
On March 27, 2011, it was announced on his website that he had died on March 26 following "a vibrant life" and a four-month struggle with cancer.
- Joe Bageant]] (2008). Deer Hunting With Jesus. Portobello Books. ISBN 978-1-84627-152-6.
- Joe Bageant (2010). Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir. Portobello Books. ISBN 978-1-84627-257-8.
- Joe Bageant (2012). Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball: The Best of Joe Bageant. Scribe Publications. ISBN 978-1921844515.
- Lingan, John (2015) "Toxically Pure". The Baffler (Number 27).
- Bageant, Joe (2007). Deer Hunting With Jesus. New York: Crown Books. ISBN 978-0-307-33936-2., p. 36
- "About Ken Smith". An American Expat.
- ""The Only Life There Is" (DARK AGES AMERICA - Blog for Morris Berman)". Morrisberman.blogspot.com. 2011-12-23. Retrieved 2013-10-14. – Note: scroll down to the comment's section of this post for Ken Smith's remarks confirming that Bageant had been living in Ajijic, Mexico when he was diagnosed w/ cancer
- Bageant, Joe (2011-01-04). "A Note from Joe". JoeBageant.com. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- "Joe Bageant, 1946-2011". JoeBageant.com. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Joe Bageant
- "Why rednecks may rule the world" by Joe Bageant, BBC Today, 6 September 2008
- Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball: Capitalism is dead, but we still dance with the corpse" By Joe Bageant, The Greanville Post, July 9, 2010.
- The Fearless Plain By Joe Bageant, The Greanville Post, May 21, 2010
- Rainbow Pie: Morris Berman remembers Joe Bageant" By Morris Berman, The Greanville Post, May 19, 2011.
- Rednecks, Longnecks And Leftnecks  By L.H. O'Connor, Roothog Radio, July 25, 2011.
- Short bio and introduction to book of Joe Bageant's essays  by Ken Smith, April 1, 2012.
- Joe Bageant Podcast: Interview from April 2009