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HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and…
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HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis: The… (edition 2017)

by Vance (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,3922951,529 (3.78)369
Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an 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. 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. 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.… (more)
Member:jenmitchell53
Title:HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis: The International Bestselling Memoir Coming Soon as a Netflix Major Motion Picture starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close (172 POCHE)
Authors:Vance (Author)
Info:William Collins (2017), Edition: 01, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

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

  1. 50
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    Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild (bradstreet2001)
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    Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains by Cassie Chambers (ellyzhang66)
  10. 00
    Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks (aspirit)
    aspirit: Poetry collection. A response to how Black Appalachians are often left out of narratives of the place.
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    I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing by Kyria Abrahams (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Ok, I absolutely know it's a stretch, but both deal with dysfunctional families and survival.
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    The Other America: Poverty in the United States by Michael Harrington (Othemts)
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    pbirch01: A good biography on the history of Appalachia as it relates to the US at large.
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» See also 369 mentions

English (292)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (295)
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
I waited a long time to finally read this. Glad I did but still not quite sure what can be done to help. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Jan 21, 2022 |
Vance's memoir, for the sake of constructing an upward trajectory in class and education, ultimately establishes the rural cultures and places he mentions as primitive and somewhat doomed. One of many stories that needs to be told for greater understanding of the connection between all human choices. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
This is an excellent book, gripping. I read it fairly rapidly and avidly due to both the excellent writing and the subject matter. Generational poverty is of interest to me. I live in rural GA and work in public education with all socio-economic strata represented. Vance did a great job weaving in his personal story with sociological facts, but the books is vivid and certainly not in any sense dryly academic. There's profanity, which I usually object to, but in this case I feel it's necessary because it's an autobiography and this is how Vance's family spoke. [I have the Kindle version] ( )
  elizabethprata | Dec 24, 2021 |
Yes, in some ways this is a powerful statement about the working poor in America, but it is also self-serving. The author escaped and went to Yale and, due to his connections there, found fame and wealth. Of course, he had to work hard and he did, but although his insight into what’s wrong is telling, his solutions are typically conservative. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Grit it out. Save money. No mention that the government could help by offering opportunities or changing one element in a nasty cycle of drugs and poverty and ignorance and family disjunction. Very Ayn Randish. I thought he might turn out to have a great vision about how we can work together to solve our problems. Nope. Even though he mentions and admires the results of other countries( those with social welfare safety systems in place), he doesn’t seem to believe it would work here. I know this not from his book, but from being interested and reading what he is about these days. Really disappointing. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
The location and major cast members are different, and the outcomes are different, but this is also my story. While Vance is is from the hillbilly rust belt, I'm from the redneck logging communities of the PNW. I found this story so familiar, moving and important. His story is of family, suffering, triumph and upward mobility. It's such a delicate love story for the American dream and overcoming obstacles to move from poverty into something more. It's about survival and strife. It's so many of our stories. It's also delicately sprinkled with factoids and understanding for poverty stricken underlings. This story is so important. ( )
  battlearmanda | Nov 30, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
added by janw | editNew Yorker, Josh Rothman (Sep 12, 2016)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vance, J. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carlson-Stanisic, LeahDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raynaud, VincentTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, JarrodCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, J. D.Narratorsecondary 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an 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. 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. 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.

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