I heard about Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis from a couple of different people earlier this fall. I guess a lot of other locals heard about it, too, because my library’s waiting list was long and I waited for months before I was finally able to get my hands on this book. I had heard from others that this memoir is a great way to really understand the struggles of the white working-class and the feelings of many Americans in the months and weeks leading up to the recent U.S. election. Although I continue to be shocked and saddened by the presidential election results, I did love reading this book because it really does give great insight into the struggles of many white working-class Americans.
J.D. Vance’s grandparents were young, in love and extremely poor when they moved from the Appalachia region of Kentucky to Ohio. Vance describes his family members and the tremendous struggles he endured throughout his life, drawing attention to all of the abuse, alcoholism and poverty within his own family and among his neighbors. After high school, Vance joined the Marines, graduated from Ohio State University and then graduated from Yale Law School. It is a wonderful, well-written book and I recommend it to everyone who wants a better understanding of our society.