Hillbilly Elegy

A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J. D. Vance

On Sale: 06/28/2016

Hillbilly Elegy

A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J. D. Vance

On Sale: 06/28/2016

Format:

About the Book

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IS NOW A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD AND STARRING AMY ADAMS, GLENN CLOSE, AND GABRIEL BASSO

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

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 postwar 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 humor and vividly colorful 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“[A] compassionate, discerning sociological analysis…Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that.” - Jennifer Senior, New York Times

“[Hillbilly Elegy] is a beautiful memoir but it is equally a work of cultural criticism about white working-class America….[Vance] offers a compelling explanation for why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to make it…a riveting book.” - Wall Street Journal

“[Vance’s] description of the culture he grew up in is essential reading for this moment in history.” - David Brooks, New York Times

“[Hillbilly Elegy] couldn’t have been better timed...a harrowing portrait of much that has gone wrong in America over the past two generations...an honest look at the dysfunction that afflicts too many working-class Americans.” - National Review

"[A]n American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read… [T]he most important book of 2016. You cannot understand what’s happening now without first reading J.D. Vance." - Rod Dreher,The American Conservative

“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

“[A] frank, unsentimental, harrowing memoir...a superb book...” - New York Post

“The troubles of the working poor are well known to policymakers, but Vance offers an insider’s view of the problem.” - Christianity Today

“Vance movingly recounts the travails of his family.” - Washington Post

“What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it...stunning...intimate...” - Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062300546
  • ISBN 10: 0062300547
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 06/28/2016
  • Pages: 272
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Poverty & Homelessness
  • BISAC2 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural
  • BISAC3 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
  • BISAC4 : HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
  • BISAC5 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

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