From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of Americas white working classHillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisisthat of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.s grandparents were dirt poor and in love, and moved north from Kentuckys Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vances grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country....
|Title||:||Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis|
|Number of Pages||:||257 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Hillbilly » Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis|
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis Reviews
"This was my world: a world of truly irrational behavior. We spend our way into the poorhouse. We buy giant TVs and iPads...Thrift is inimical to our being...Our homes are a chaotic mess. We scream and yell at each other like we're spectators at a football game. At least one member of the family uses drugs...At especially stressful times, we'll hit and punch each other, all in front of the rest of the family, including young children...We don't study as children, and we don't make our kids study ...more
When I bought this book I didn't really read the title closely so I really just assumed it said Hillbilly Energy and so I like assumed it was going to be something about solar energy on farms, I don't know I have a presumption problem clearly, so I was kind of confused when I started to read the book. I really did enjoy the book though and I felt Vance was insightful. The only thing is he seems to start to lose steam by the end of the book but ending books is always harder than beginning them. I ...more
I'll be honest I didn't totally finish the book before giving up. I hear Vance on NPR and the story caught my attention. Yet, what I thought would be a better analysis of American economics and poverty proved to be very different.
It's one of those conservative love stories of " I got my shit together so everyone can". While I respect the struggle Vance had, I also believe it's a very naive picture of what is going on. It explains why people FEEL a way. It does not explain the systemic issues th ...more
My local book club will be discussing this book this month. I'll be attending- I almost took a 'pass'. I'm really glad I didn't.
THE CONTROVERSY and DISCUSSIONS from reviews on Goodreads is already ENGAGING!!!! Seriously, I spent more time reading through every review - and all the comments on THIS BOOK - more than any book in all my years on Goodreads.
My interest elevated - and my emotions were entangled. The passion of expression from people about this book - positive and negative - ...more
“One way our upper class can promote upward mobility, then, is not only by pushing wise public policies but by opening their hearts and minds to the newcomers who don’t quite belong.”
― J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
(my dad's father [center on the stairs], uncle, and other workers during harvest)
The writing and conclusions of this book are probably a 3-star, but emotionally this is a 4-star book for me (thus my vacillating between 3&4-stars). J.D. Va ...more
J.D Vance's grandparents set the basis for this life story. They move from the hills of Kentucky to Ohio chasing a better life. J.D.'s life is in both places. He does live a life that is very familiar here in the southeast. His real dad gives him up, he is told by his mom and Mamaw that his dad doesn't want him anymore. He is adopted by one of his mother's many men. Who also ends up leaving. J.D.'s mom is a revolving door of different men. (I'm not judging her as I see this lifestyle taking plac ...more
This books had so much more depth than I expected and honestly, I am more than a little overwhelmed.
What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives.J.D. Vance, an ex-marine, a Yale law school graduate and self-proclaimed hillbilly, provides an absolutely unique, heart-wrenching and poignant analysis of his culture - the poor white working class.
If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get...more
A twitter storm this summer brought this book to my attention. I read several articles and interviews with Vance before managing to get my hands on a copy. That circuitous introduction led me to expect some kind of treatise on working class attitudes, so at first I experienced the work through the distorting lens of others’ interpretations.
This book is not any kind of treatise. It is a brave, funny, unsentimental growing-up story, introducing us to a cussin’ gun-brandishing grandmaw who knew in ...more