Hillbilly Elegy A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

By J. D. Vance

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Description

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis–that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring for more than forty years, has been reported 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 you 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 hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family sage of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J. D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his 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 mediation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Additional information

Weight 7.8 oz
Dimensions 8 × 5.25 × .8 in
Binding