An award-winning historian tells the story of hunting in America, showing how this sport has shaped our national identity.
From Daniel Boone to Teddy Roosevelt, hunting is one of America's most sacred-but also most fraught-traditions. It was promoted in the 19th century as a way to reconnect "soft" urban Americans with nature and to the legacy of the country's pathfinding heroes. Fair chase, a hunting code of ethics emphasizing fairness, rugged independence, and restraint towards wildlife, emerged as a worldview and gave birth to the conservation movement. But the sport's popularity also caused class, ethnic, and racial divisions, and stirred debate about the treatment of Native Americans and the role of hunting in preparing young men for war.
This sweeping and balanced book offers a definitive account of hunting in America. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of our nation's foundational myths.
Basic Books; May 2018
- ISBN: 9781541616738
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: The Fair Chase
- Author: Philip Dray
Imprint: Basic Books
In The Press
"The Fair Chase is a comprehensive and delightful account of the mystique of sport hunting and firearms in our history. Philip Dray has given us a deeply researched epic story of hunting and the literary tradition that celebrates wilderness, the chase, iconic figures such as Daniel Boone and Sitting Bull, the hunter's code of ethics, the western in print and film, and the continuing romance of firearms, along with animal rights, and meditation on the future of hunting. This is history writing at its exciting best."—Robert Morgan, author of Lions of the West
About The Author
Philip Dray is a historian who has written or coauthored seven books on American history and culture, including At the Hands of Persons Unknown, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Dray lives in Brooklyn, New York.