Rona's Reviews > Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
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really liked it
bookshelves: memoir-biography, non-fiction-politics, non-fiction-history-and-culture
Read 2 times. Last read February 4, 2017 to February 9, 2017.

This may well turn out to be an important book. It may influence the general social consciousness, like other Social Science 101-type books, if it gets picked up as part of college curriculum. It is readable and gives a general impression of the history of white American working class/working poor. However, if falls short as social science and it also falls short as memoir.
As a child of a union laborer, I thought that the struggles, contradictions, and hypocrisies he describes about his fellow "hillbillies" in Ohio also describe lower middle class/working class people like my family. Had he a fuller background in class issues in America, he would have known how not-unique his social story was.
I also would have liked it better if there were not so many gaps in the memoir. All we know is that he applied to Yale Law and got in. How did he do so well on his LSATs and his grades to get in? What class issues showed up during his interviews?
Even with this criticisms, this was readable and pleasant and instructive.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 4, 2017 – Started Reading
February 8, 2017 – Shelved
February 9, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 10, 2017 – Shelved as: memoir-biography
February 10, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction-politics
February 10, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction-history-and-culture

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