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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir
Hillbilly Elegy A Memoir
Author: J. D. Vance
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 American...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780062300546
ISBN-10: 0062300547
Publication Date: 6/28/2016
Pages: 352
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 51 ratings
Publisher: Harper
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 323
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reviewed Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir on + 154 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Having been born in Hillbilly country myself, I had to read this book and see just what it was all about. I can relate to some of the circumstances that J. D. writes about and to a degree he and I have similar lives, but I did not go to Harvard Law School, but I did escape the circumstances that surround this Hillbilly culture. However, I too still embrace the significance of having grown up in this culture. Its a warmly, refreshing and heartwarming story and the author takes great pride in his heritage, as do I.
If you (or someone you love dearly) are from this culture, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
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reviewed Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir on + 1142 more book reviews
Vance is very open about his family's troubling past, and provides some interesting insights into the hillbilly culture. Like almost every other culture, I suppose, this one is teeming with contradictions. One minute there are violent, screaming fights, while the next is filled with loving kindness; through it all, fierce family loyalty is the cardinal virtue.

While I can understand Vance's loyalty to and love for the people and ways that formed his life, many of the incidents he describes are almost too painful to read. And while he managed to escape to college, law school, and a more typical life, his hillbilly upbringing left lasting marks, and the specter of those who remain trapped is never far from thought.

This is a memoir, not a scholarly work. It's well written, unflinching, and worth reading for a personal look at a largely overlooked segment of our society.