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Hillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis / J.D. Vance.

By: Vance, J. D [author.].
Material type: TextTextEdition: First edition.Description: 264 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780062300546; 0062300547; 9780008220556; 0008220557; 9780062300553; 0062300555.Other title: Memoir of a family and culture in crisis.Subject(s): Working class whites -- United States -- Biography | Working class whites -- United States -- Social conditions | Mountain people -- Kentucky -- Social conditions | Social mobility -- United States -- Case studiesDDC classification: 305.5/62089090092 | B Other classification: 18.06 | SOC026020 | SOC045000 | SOC008000 | SOC050000 Awards: #1 New York Times BestsellerSummary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an 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. 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. 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--Publisher's website.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HN59.2 .V36 2016 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002246486

Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-264).

Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an 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. 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. 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--Publisher's website.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Growing up in Appalachia may leave a person open to harsh criticism and stereotype, yet Vance delves into his childhood and upbringing to make a clear distinction between perception and reality. Born in Kentucky and shuffling among homes in Ohio, the author ended the cycle of poverty, abuse, and drug use after becoming a U.S. Marine and Yale Law School graduate. His memoir is less about his triumph and more about exposing the gritty truth of how a culture fell into ruin. Using examples from his own life with references to articles and studies throughout, Vance's intent is to show that what was once the fulfillment of the American Dream-moving to the Rust Belt for a better life-has now left families in peril. His plea is not for sympathy but for understanding. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this memoir is akin to investigative journalism. While some characters seem too caricaturelike, it is often those terrifyingly authentic traits that make people memorable. Vance is careful to point out that this is his recollection of events; not everyone is painted in a positive light. -VERDICT A quick and engaging read, this book is well suited to anyone interested in a study of modern America, as Vance's assertions about Appalachia are far more reaching.-Kaitlin Malixi, formerly at Virginia Beach P.L. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

J. D. Vance is from a working-class, Scots-Irish background who, by his own admission, "grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember." A self-described hillbilly, he was able to rise above his impoverished circumstances to graduate from college and then go on to earn a law degree from Yale. Though the memoir sometimes lapses into overwrought descriptions of dysfunctional relationships and seemingly hopeless situations, Vance provides in-depth, unforgiving descriptions of the working-class culture of Appalachia. He explains the more positive aspects of his culture, such as the fierce loyalty to family, tradition, and country, as well as the more negative aspects, such as the high rates of substance abuse, domestic violence, and unemployment--even when jobs remain open not for a lack of potential employees but because of a lack of interest. Vance also explains how he defied statistics and tradition by rising to the level of the middle class. Summing Up: Recommended. General, public, and undergraduate collections. --Carol Apt, South Carolina State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

J.D. Vance grew up in Middletown, Ohio, and Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served for four years in Iraq. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University (2007-2009) Political Science and Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude and Yale Law School, Doctor of Law (J.D.) (2010-2013). He has contributed to the National Review and is the author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. He is also a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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