Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Waterstones nonfiction Book of the Month (June)
A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
‘The political book of the year’ Sunday Times
‘You will not read a more important book about America this year’ Economist
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 post-war 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 humour and vividly colourful 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.
What people are saying - Write a review
Honest Tragic Portrait of Rust Belt AmericaUser Review - s7tryon - Overstock.com
J.D. Vance Marine veteran of the war in Iraq and Yale Law School graduate has written a powerful memoir of growing up as a poor child of hillbilly royalty. His book focuses on four generations of his ... Read full review
Really Excellent BookUser Review - 4star - Overstock.com
This book is good reading an accomplishment for a memoir. Despite the fact that I suspect it is being used to justify policies and politicians I dont like I DO really like the book and its author ... Read full review