Appalachian Region, economic conditions, Kentucky, mountain people, social conditions, social mobility, United States, working class whites
J.D. Vance grows up very poor in the Ohio rustbelt and after deciding to enlist in the Marine Corps eventually he pursues a law degree at Yale. It’s a very personal account of the author’s childhood and parts of it felt similar to Jeannette Walls’ “The Glass Castle.” I liked it because while the author conveyed a lot of love and respect for aspects of his culture, he also comments on the contradictions, inconsistencies, and issues.
“[An] understated, engaging debut…An unusually timely and deeply affecting view of a social class whose health and economic problems are making headlines in this election year.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Vance’s] description of the culture he grew up in is essential reading for this moment in history.” (David Brooks, New York Times)
“J.D. Vance’s memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy”, offers a starkly honest look at what that shattering of faith feels like for a family who lived through it. You will not read a more important book about America this year.” (The Economist)