- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (June 28, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780062300546
- ISBN-13: 978-0062300546
- ASIN: 0062300547
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11,633 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.58 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis Hardcover – June 28, 2016
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“[A] compassionate, discerning sociological analysis…Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that.” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times)
“[Hillbilly Elegy] is a beautiful memoir but it is equally a work of cultural criticism about white working-class America….[Vance] offers a compelling explanation for why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to make it…a riveting book.” (Wall Street Journal)
“[Vance’s] description of the culture he grew up in is essential reading for this moment in history.” (David Brooks, New York Times)
“[Hillbilly Elegy] couldn’t have been better timed...a harrowing portrait of much that has gone wrong in America over the past two generations...an honest look at the dysfunction that afflicts too many working-class Americans.” (National Review)
[A]n American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read… [T]he most important book of 2016. You cannot understand what’s happening now without first reading J.D. Vance. (Rod Dreher,The American Conservative)
“J.D. Vance’s memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy”, offers a starkly honest look at what that shattering of faith feels like for a family who lived through it. You will not read a more important book about America this year.” (The Economist)
“[A] frank, unsentimental, harrowing memoir...a superb book...” (New York Post)
“The troubles of the working poor are well known to policymakers, but Vance offers an insider’s view of the problem.” (Christianity Today)
“Vance movingly recounts the travails of his family.” (Washington Post)
“What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it...stunning...intimate...” (Globe and Mail (Toronto))
From the Back Cover
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck.
The Vance family story began with hope 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.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
11,633 customer reviews
Review this product
Showing 1-5 of 11,633 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
He writes very directly and honestly about the problems with white, working class America and why it is in decline. While part of the problem is societal, he believes there is an internal problem that government cannot do anything about. He suggests that tribalism, mistrust of outsiders and "elites," violence and irresponsibility among family members, parents without ethics and a sense of responsibility, terrible work ethics, and an us-against-them mentality is dooming the people who live that way to becoming poorer, more addicted, and more marginalized. Excellent book and very thought-provoking.
I had high expectations for this book. I was born and raised in Appalachia and have a great love for the people and the culture. No doubt the author reflects his family experience, but i do feel that his account is not representative of the people of that place and time. As in most cultures, there is a broad spectrum of lifestyles and mores -- people with similar dispositions tend to find like members for their closest association. There are many wonderful kind and loving people in Appalachia who are living out the best examples that they can for family, friends, and strangers alike. I found these people to be in the majority. They are not portrayed in this account. For many summers I traveled extensively in my home county, not only the little settlements, but the houses back in the hollows and down in the narrow bottom lands. As a stranger i was almost always welcomed and offered help in getting my job done. I was often invited to take a simple meal. These people are poor with little material possessions. Yes there are some bad people as well, as a reading of the court docket in the local county papers will confirm. But do not let that darkness of a few outlaws color the picture of an entire people.
To better understand the origins and long standing troubles of the Appalachian people i suggest you read, NIGHT COMES TO THE CUMBERLAND, by Henry Caudill of Pikeville, KY. From the cover notes: The quality of life in Appalachia declined during the Civil War and Appalachia remained "in a bad way" for the next century and longer. By the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Appalachia had become an island of poverty in a national sea of plenty and prosperity. Caudill's book alerted the mainstream world to our problems and their causes. A major factor was the exploitation of natural resources (timber, coal, and later gas) by disinterested distant owners who left the owners of these rich lands poorly educated, poorly trained, land ruined, and hoodwinked over and over. Systematically looted by the robber entrepreneurs and their local toadies. With a few notable exceptions the exploitation cycle continues. Appalachia: Rich Land, Poor People, still.
Last summer I read Coates' Between the World and Me. I was struck how the loves of Coates and Vance share such commonalities but ran along parallel tracks. I read this book because the anger in our political discourse truly frightens me. I was looking for some entry point into complicating my limited ideas and prejudices about white working class folks. This is a beautiful book and although I'm not sure I am his audience, I appreciate his sharing his world and his people with me. His willingness to be vulnerable, honest, and reflective has given me a lot to consider moving forward.