Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
What’s it about?
J.D. Vance is thirty years old and a former marine, Iraq war veteran, and Yale Law School graduate. J.D. struggles through school and often feels overwhelmed as a child. Through his journey we look at a culture in crisis. Through J.D. Vance’s eyes we feel how limited his life often felt.
What did it make me think about?
This book made me much more aware of another perspective. A perspective we have not heard much about until recently. However, this book did not make me feel like their were easy solutions to the problems we are facing as a nation.
Should I read it?
This was an quick book to read. I appreciated what Mr. Vance was trying to say, and he certainly puts a face and voice to another problem in America.
“In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin- “black people’, “Asians”, “white privilege”. Sometimes these broad categories are useful, but to understand my story, you have to delve into the details. I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast. Instead, I identify with the Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty is the family tradition- their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, share-croppers after that, and machinists and millworkers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family.”
If you like this try-
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
Ghettoside by Jill Leovy
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
8 1/2 stars
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!