Hillbilly Elegy Book Reviews

J. D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance Book Summary


"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

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported 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 one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his 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.

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Book Name Hillbilly Elegy
Genre Sociology
Language English
E-Book Size 1.28 MB

Hillbilly Elegy (J. D. Vance) Book Reviews 2023

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Excellent read!. Honest and compassionate memoir about growing up a hillbilly, and also helped me understand the minds of these people. Well worth a look!

Hillbilly Elegy.. Interesting story based on true life of the author and his family. Lots of hardships relative to many in today’s world .

A myopic view of Appalachia. J.D. Vance presents a compelling and voyeuristic view of what poverty in Appalachia looks like while providing the minimum of nuance and complexity. Clearly, this sells - but at what cost to the sincerely needy peoples depicted in this work that projects the worst of my region to the rest of the world?

Hillbilly Elegy. Book was slow, repetitive and full of statistics. Could not keep my attention.

Good. But not great It is a Worthwhile read, and certainly fascinating For someone not versed in Appalacian life Vance is well versed and the read is easy. He does dwell at times on banal topics.

Illuminating. The honest and concisely worded truth of poor kid and the family and societal struggles in this day and age. The most striking thing to me is the authors age. He is still young. So many of these books cast one back to long ago time and dynamic. This one is different in the fact that a man in his early 30 s is talking about life only 15 years ago. And the sociological references he cites are still relevant and in play. It serves to make it so poignant and immediate and a present day accounting of lives that are playing out as I write this.

My life. So moving and true

I only did this so apple will let me download an app. I’ve recently got a new iPhone and I moved from android to this iPhone 11 and to be honest, this is utter garbage. The iPhone software lacks many convenient features that an android would. Overall the software feels like it’s just made to look pretty then actually be useful.

Typical politician. Don’t let his “humble” beginnings fool you. He is taking the money made from this book for his campaign. He is running for senator. I’m not saying that his life’s story isn’t interesting to those who could never identify with it. His life told here I’m sure was real but he lied in his introduction about himself.

Uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable from the first chapter to the last. I felt this way because as a bi racial, half redneck ( my hillbilly equivalent ) and black,from South Carolina; this book was my life. It was my family. Add in some familial and cultural racist experiences and he wrote my story. I felt ashamed at times. At time I was proud and Often I was skeptical of context. The ability to give me these emotions is a talent and a gift. He did his story true justice.

Generational Poverty and Insular Cultures. I once read that being poor is like a disease that can be passed on from one generation to the other. Almost becoming part of the genetic makeup of those who are stricken by it. The symptoms of the disease compound from one generation to the next, like compounding interest builds capital. This memoir, along with Educated by Tara Westover, have given me a clear accounts of a people I knew existed but did not personally know; Poor White America. Alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, health issues, and poor education are not the sole problems of the poor. But being poor is like throwing gasoline on these problems. Moreover, the social safety net, does always work to the way it was intended for the poor and disadvantaged. Partly because government policies cannot handle the intricate nuances of everyday life, and partly because they don’t offer the transformative change that gives them an out of their situations. J.D. Vance talks about how outsiders at a personal level either provided the leveling relationships for the healthy marriages and examples he did see in his family. Also, how they helped him personally navigate the climb out of generational poverty. I’ve often wondered if it was willful ignorance, stubbornness, or pure hate that keeps this part of America aligned against people like me. Like everywhere else, this community is just another bubble like all others, that can feed on it’s own misgivings about the outside world and perpetuate already existing divides. What I wanted was an understanding of how to bridge that divide, I know I did not fully get that from this reading. Both this book and Educated showed me that some people just don’t want to be helped. Some people who want help want to get out desperately from behind the first group. So, the least we can do is keep a watchful eye out for those who are trying to climb out and could use help, even when they don’t ask for it.

What a read. With how strange the title seems at first, this book is great. I was amazed at the story of the authors life.

Worth the time!. Good read

Another jerk who thinks he “knows” the South.. If you think the South is backwards, poor, and easy to understand, this book will confirm everything you’ve ever believed. If you’re looking for complexity, nuance, or insight, look elsewhere.

Hits home…Excellent Read. I was able to relate to this story in many ways and thoroughly enjoyed how JD Vance puts into words what I have been thinking for many years. Thank you for the great book!

Great Authentic Hillbilly Insight. Informative but repetitive

Boring, self-serving phony book written by a liar.. Didn’t believe much of what he wrote. He’s an election results denier so you know he’s perfectly willing to lie.

Hillbilly Elegy. J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy focuses on a young boy overcoming the odds of a broken home and backward Kentucky ways to succeed in the modern world of intellectual universities at the highest order. The book is positive but a hard read as you visit young J.D.’s troubled childhood and broken home. The high spots are the hard sacrifices some of his family make for his success and his ability to see what’s good and move past the bad in his life. It’s heart warming story of choosing a better life with the help of those who love us regardless of our mistakes. J. D. Vance does not claim to have all the answers but he points us toward love, forgiveness and conservative practicality. We all make mistakes the difference in those who achieve is an ability to admit so and move on breaking the bad patterns of life.

Another “big lie”. Amazing that this author has clearly demonstrated his hypocrisy by propagating another big lie. Selling his soul to liar in chief in pursuit of self-serving goals. He’s joined the club of “angry white men” with so little self-confidence that they feel highly threatened by anyone who doesn’t look and sound like they do. “Make America Great Again?” We did just that in 2020!!!

Brilliant!!!!. Magnificent read. I bought for my children and grandchildren.

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Summary of Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

The Hillbilly Elegy book written by J. D. Vance was published on 01 May 2018, Tuesday in the Sociology category. A total of 1,514 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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