Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town.
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now fo...more
When I first noticed this book popping up on Goodreads, I admit the title really threw me. I hate that word ‘hillbilly’ because it sounds derisive and conjures up stereotypes. But, then, I noticed the reviews were stellar for the most part, and so I took a closer look.
Once I finished reading this book, I was stunned. I actually shed tears, and nearly talked myself out of leaving a comment at all. But, my husband convinced me to at leas ...more
Let's start with what this book isn't. It's not an explanation of why Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, or at least no ...more
Have you ever wondered what became of the Scotch-Irish, who dug America’s coal, forged America’s steel and built America’s automobiles, who worked for the American Dream Monday through Friday. prayed to The Good Lord on Sunday, and revered F.D.R. and J.F.K. every day of the week? The last thing I heard, they elected Donald Trump. And I am still looking for explanations.
If you want somebody who knows Appalachian culture from inside to explain it all to you, I highly recommend Hillbilly Elegy by ...more
Okay – that was my original, but it should have been Vance’s! Instead, he mostly blamed the poor for being poor, lazy, and generally culpable for all (and few) choices. No wonder anger and angst filled their days and nights, and they needed drugs, alcohol, and violence to trigger some brief if dysfunctional relief. Vance was born right after the decades of American prosperity post WWII when if you wanted a job you simply got one ...more
Why is this guy the darling of the talk show circuit right now? He thinks his fellow hillbillies just need to work harder. Problem solved! He thinks because he made it everyone else should be able to do the same. He asserts social programs won't help his lazy people but then ...more
It's one of those conservative love stories of " I got my shit together so everyone can". While I respect the struggle Vance had, I also believe it's a very naive picture of what is going on. It explains why people FEEL a way. It does not explain the systemic issues th ...more
My local book club will be discussing this book this month. I'll be attending- I almost took a 'pass'. I'm really glad I didn't.
THE CONTROVERSY and DISCUSSIONS from reviews on Goodreads is already ENGAGING!!!! Seriously, I spent more time reading through every review - and all the comments on THIS BOOK - more than any book in all my years on Goodreads.
My interest elevated - and my emotions were entangled. The passion of expression from people about this book - positive and negative - ...more
When I saw the name, I figured this would be reading about a real life Deliverance-esque town. However, this is more about how a boy develops into a man when dealing with being raised by a family with a “Hillbilly” background ...more
Ma lives in the holler
way back yander thar.
she plays the fiddle and sings
just like Emmy Lou.
Mamaw chews tobacco
and spits the wad right
in her old Styrofoam cup.
even in front of company.
my pa was a coal miner
and beats us younguns
cus he meaner than a polecat
and a little touched
when he is drunker
than Cootey Brown.
We refused welfare
don't believe in eating
high on the hog,
so I picked my poor self up
and so can y'all.
1. Read better books
2. Read more nonfiction
This book, while difficult to read at times, is an important book, and I can't recommend it enough. It hit me pretty hard at times. I mean, I wouldn't consider myself a hillbilly, but i did grow up in the suburbs of Nashville, and I'm honestly not too far removed from some of the family members depicted in ...more
What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives.J.D. Vance, an ex-marine, a Yale law school graduate and self-proclaimed hillbilly, provides an absolutely unique, heart-wrenching and poignant analysis of his culture - the poor white working class.
If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get...more
I picked up 'Hillbilly Elegy' because the blurb sounded interesting enough and I really don't know much about the Appalac ...more
I identify closely with the author: both of us were born poor and from divorced parents, both benefited from military service and both found a way to get through law school (coincidentally even though I am fifteen years Vance’s senior and am closer in age to his mother, he and I were in Iraq at the same time and both worked for military pubic affairs and both took part in civil a ...more
“I know you real Americans hate being called stupid, but you gotta meet me half way and stop being stupid.”
My empathy level for stupid Americans has diminished this last year. I have un-friended a few people I once thought to be good, intelligent, and sane. This year has opened my eyes to an ugliness and a selfishness in people that I never imagined existed in so many. And that ...more
― J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
(my dad's father [center on the stairs], uncle, and other workers during harvest)
The writing and conclusions of this book are probably a 3-star, but emotionally this is a 4-star book for me (thus my vacillating between 3&4-stars). J.D. Va ...more
Poverty is in the eye of the beholder. My father grew up in the hollers of West Virginia in a small town that hasn’t changed very much (if at all) since he lived there. Oh, wait. They changed the name of the street he grew up on from Pennsylvania Avenue to something sounding less presidential. Other than that, I’d be surprised if anything had changed. His grandfather built the house he grew up in when my grandfather was a little boy in short britches. It was a big jump up from living on the fami ...more
This book is not any kind of treatise. It is a brave, funny, unsentimental growing-up story, introducing us to a cussin’ gun-brandishing grandmaw who knew in ...more
In his own words: "Whatever talents I have ...more
A good friend of mine told me I had to read this if I wanted to understand how Donald Trump won the election. But that's not to say this is a political book. Part memoir and part social treatise, the book attempts to explain the mindset of the poor whites of the Appalachian/Midwest geographic area. Mostly Scotch-Irish, they are a proud people with a split mindset when it comes to beliefs vs. actions, especially concerning work ethic, religion and the value of education.
J.D. Vance basically goes ...more
I'm not sure where the idea that this book explains Donald Trump's rise came from, but ...more
|The History Book ...: * WE ARE OPEN - APRIL 2018 - HILLBILLY ELEGY - DISCUSSION||107||389||Nov 08, 2018 08:38AM|
|Play Book Tag: Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance (3 Stars)||4||22||Aug 22, 2018 03:59PM|
|Play Book Tag: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance 5 stars||8||35||Jul 06, 2018 05:17PM|
|ACPL Online Book ...: Hillbilly Elegy-July||4||3||Jul 05, 2018 11:27AM|
|The Long Overdue ...: Fourth Book!||9||15||Jun 29, 2018 06:14AM|
|The Crooked Bookies: Hillbilly Elegy discussion||8||18||Apr 30, 2018 01:30PM|