Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon
Seven years of research and interviewing more than three-hundred-fifty people went into this extensive volume, Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey. This is a tremendous amount of work on a single subject, the pit bull, more precisely American pit bull terrier. The author starts at the very beginning: very detailed history of pit bulls and dogs in general from ancient history on, illustrated by many small (little larger than thumbnail size) photos. Then Dickey continues through fifteen chapters providing great details over pages after pages of text, including occasional illustrations and numerous quotes from both printed material and interviewees. Each chapter begins with a story involving one of the interviewees.
The question is for this extensive volume who Dickey thought of as targeted readership. Dog lovers, and in particular pit bull lovers, would enjoy reading about it but in small doses. But Pit Bull is filled with so much detail that few readers would be able to enjoy and concentrate on the text for very long. Possibly it meant as a reference volume in libraries (since it is academic in flavor, almost like a thesis project). The book ends with extensive notes, bibliography and references.