Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir by J. D. Vance about family; about Appalachia, hillbillies, and the American white underclass in the rural and semi-rural interior of the United States. Vance relates his traumatic, poverty stricken upbringing to the larger social problems in both his hometown and the larger population. He ties the growing opioid epidemic sweeping the country to the growing divide between Red and Blue. With frankness, he describes addiction in his family, the larger trauma of communities losing jobs, and finally the interventions that helped him rise out of poverty to attend OSU and Yale Law. Through his personal struggles, he raises questions of personal responsibility and role of government in communities.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of Hillbilly Elegy click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play
ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences
William Julius Wilson
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
“Why the White Working Class Is Falling Behind” by J. D. Vance, National Review
Next Month …
Read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead along with us, and listen to our discussion on March 27, 2017.
Whitehead makes the metaphor of the underground railroad literal in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel. “As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.” – Goodreads