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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and…

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

by J. D. Vance (Author)

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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
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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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
Very readable memoir of a man who is embarking on a second chapter of life far different from his "hillbilly" upbringing. The arc of his life and the family, extended and nuclear, who contributed so much to the person he has become are fascinating. There are no easy solutions for the issues he raises, but what impressed me most the potential conversations that could spring from this book's pages. I found myself thinking that this is a guy who I'd really like to sit down to a beer summit with. Recommended for anyone who appreciates and wants to unlock the potential in people for whom the decks are stacked against. ( )
  angiestahl | Apr 21, 2017 |
The author relates his growing up in Appalachia along with the obstacles to that culture. He is able to also identify some of what helps those get out but admits some just repeat bad choices they have seen. Excellent! ( )
  LivelyLady | Apr 21, 2017 |
FIVE BIG FAT STARS for this one! ( )
  liv_books | Apr 18, 2017 |
This book has become a "thing" this election season, as the White working class seems to have been the difference in electing Donald Trump President. Vance is a self described "hillbilly" raised in Middletown Ohio but with family roots in Kentucky. His memoir of life with a drug addicted mother and maternal grandparents who make his life bearable in spite of a string of step-fathers and instability is heart breaking and moving, and inspiring too.

In this political season, I found Vance's conservative voice, including his conclusion that the white working class needs to stop blaming Obama or Bush and take responsibility for solving the rot that has entered their culture, to be fair enough. He doesn't have a political solution to the rot, and it's a knotty problem.

As a writer, Vance is just OK. The story is great, the prose good enough to tell the story but nothing that knocked my socks off. ( )
  DanTarlin | Apr 16, 2017 |
I listened to the audio version of this book, read by the author. It's an engrossing story, sometimes tragic, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. How did J.D. Vance rise above his roots (and above everyone's expectations) to graduate from Yale Law School? What did he have that others like him didn't? He considers this question toward the end of the book, which will have you pausing to consider your own history as well as more effective ways of encouraging young people today to aim higher than they might consider possible.

Coincidentally, I read Nancy Isenberg's "White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America" earlier this year. I highly recommend these two books to anyone interested in the development of a class system in America. Read Isenberg first for a broad overview and history, then Vance for one family's experience. ( )
  Gingermama | Apr 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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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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