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Hillbilly Elegy - J. D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy

By J. D. Vance

  • Release Date: 2018-05-01
  • Genre: Sociology
Score: 4.5
From 1,470 Ratings



"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.


  • Another jerk who thinks he “knows” the South.

    By Satanicpuppy
    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.
  • Another “big lie”

    By Tuckerfred
    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!!!
  • A myopic view of Appalachia

    By O'Biden
    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?
  • Boring, self-serving phony book written by a liar.

    By studiocity2
    Didn’t believe much of what he wrote. He’s an election results denier so you know he’s perfectly willing to lie.
  • Typical politician

    By Idahocoyote
    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.
  • My life

    By A Triester
    So moving and true
  • Great Authentic Hillbilly Insight

    By BrerBearPlace
    Informative but repetitive
  • Hillbilly Elegy.

    By YayaNetski
    Interesting story based on true life of the author and his family. Lots of hardships relative to many in today’s world .
  • Illuminating

    By big loud 1
    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.
  • I only did this so apple will let me download an app

    By OfficialEmmanuel
    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.