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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (edition 2016)

by J. D. Vance (Author)

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1,7151034,141 (3.86)168
Member:bonniev
Title:Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Authors:J. D. Vance (Author)
Info:Harper (2016), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:appalachian culture, growing up, dysfunctional amily

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

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» See also 168 mentions

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给过于理想主义的人补充现实主义的成分。能让人了解一些美国东部内陆不发达地区的样子。​ ( )
  Haibo | Jul 22, 2017 |
Amazing memoir. However, this book has been marketed to be some kind of explanation of the current politics in the US. In that sense, I think the book doesn't quite get there, beyond his personal experience. I want JD Vance's next book to delve deeper into those co-workers of his at his summer job before law school. Those people he calls his own. How those people can be lifted out of the cycle of poverty when they cannot seem to show up for work, do actual work, be responsible, stop blaming the employer and the government for not taking care of them when they can't seem to learn to take care of themselves. These are Trump's base. I'd like the author to meditate on how his people can see past the racist rhetoric and blame culture and move forward like the rest of the country has. ( )
  swwong | Jul 21, 2017 |
Bumping this to 3.5 stars after some reflection ( )
  ReadandFindOut | Jul 14, 2017 |
What a remarkable book, a combination of modern American sociological treatise and childhood memoir. It is a must read for poor and wealthy alike, and especially the latter. You need to walk a mile in someone's Marine Corps boots or pleather shoes with unmatched belt, to get a clear vision of what is wrong with American society (and what can be often fairly easily fixed) . But, Vance's book is certainly not literature. It reads like an admissions essay to any ol' American University, public or elite. I'll think of all the lessons learned, any time I see a Mountain Dew or Taco Bell. ( )
1 vote Sandydog1 | Jul 14, 2017 |
I may have come to this book expectations too high. This is a memoir of upward mobility from the hills of Appalachia to Yale Law, the cultural differences between those, and effect of upward mobility on identity.

I liked it, it was interesting, but it didn't offer the source of empathy I was looking for. Since the cultural observations fit with my own experience of upward mobility (though not from nearly such a rough start as J. D. Vance's), my main hope from this book was a way to feel less judgmental of people who swear at their kids, get into fistfights over hair-thin triggers, and get stuck on roundabouts of poor decisions. I'm disappointed that I didn't get some observation or set of observations that make redneck culture feel more valuable or beneficial than I'd been aware of. In fact, this book is pretty explicitly an indictment along the lines of, "I love my family, but the culture really is screwed up, and it needs to change if we're going to do right by our kids". So, disappointing to me, but still worth a read for people curious about Appalachia, the elites, and the chasm in between. ( )
  pammab | Jul 4, 2017 |
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added by janw | editNew Yorker, Josh Rothman (Sep 12, 2016)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. D. Vanceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carlson-Stanisic, LeahDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, JarrodCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mamaw and Papaw, my very own hillbilly terminators
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My name is J. D. Vance, and I think I should start with a confession: I find the existence of the book you hold in your hands somewhat absurd.
Like most small children, I learned my home address so that if I got lost, I could tell a grown-up where to take me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062300547, Hardcover)

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 America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that 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 Kentucky’s 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. Vance’s 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 03 Jul 2016 02:21:10 -0400)

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