Facts, as the great John Adams once said, are stubborn things; J.R. Anderson’s new book, The Fancy Hat Veneer, is teeming with stubborn things, none of which are good for the industry at the heart of her probe – horseracing. Using expert testimony, hard numbers, and cold logic, Anderson, a first-time author but long-time advocate, presents yet another indictment of the Thoroughbred game – from the unrestrained breeding to the callous, often violent endgame, and everything in between. It is, as the author notes, the dark underbelly that the industry wants desperately to keep hush.
The Fancy Hat Veneer would make a fine addition for the well-versed and uninitiated alike. For the former, the 200-odd pages offer a sweeping overview, a handy reference book of sorts; for the latter, a horseracing primer. Ordering information can be found here.
I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you, Patrick, for giving the book some free advertising!
I hesitate to call it a wonderful book because of the sad subject matter, but J.R. Anderson has done a wonderful job and also added a ton of links to more information. While I have long been aware of racing’s dark side, this book is a good one for old & new readers alike. Warning – the pictures are heartbreaking. My copy arrived promptly, in excellent condition and with a short note from the author. This really IS a must read for anyone who thinks they know horse racing.
I have long been an advocate for improving this “sport.” from eliminating whips to waiting until the horse is five before starting under saddle, to owners providing retirement care, eliminating the despicable nurse-mare program, and removing slaughter as an end-of-life option. It’s past time for America to know the underbelly.
I’m very excited to read this book!
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