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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

af J. D. Vance

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6,7823331,357 (3.72)385
Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. 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 their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America.… (mere)
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» Se også 385 omtaler

Engelsk (329)  Fransk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Catalansk (1)  Alle sprog (332)
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There's a good reason why Hillbilly Elegy recently rocketed to the top of amazon's bestseller list. Democrats eager for an explanation why their candidate lost to Donald Trump expect to find it in the tale of a broken family and even more broken society in the Rust Belt and hills of Kentucky.

I started reading Hillbilly Elegy a couple of days before the election of Donald Trump and finished it a few days after.

I read it on the advice of the eastern “elites” who suggested that Vance’s poignant autobiography would give some hint as to the popularity of Trump in the face of screaming evidence that he has neither temperament nor any decent ideas to bring to the Presidency.

Like others I desperately sought answers.

Instead I found humour, tragedy, pathos, and redemption. Standard fare in pretty good books, but no relief to my angst over the election results.

It has also left me with maybe a little fear that the White House is now in the hands of hillbillies (in this case, Hillbillies from the Hamptons), and now I know what that means.

As much as I enjoyed Vance’s tale, I can’t for a second believe the moral of the story: if hillbillies want to climb out of poverty, drug dependency, and broken families they shouldn't look for public support. The Gov’t ain’t got no answers.

Granted Vance comes from the part of the country which don’t trust no “ReveNOOers.” But facts are facts. Education works. Sometimes professional healthcare is needed, including mental health care.

It’s great if family members pitch in, but sometimes they don’t, or don’t know what works and what doesn’t.

No matter what you think, in fact often government can deliver the services faster and cheaper than higgledy-piggledy community services. And granted sometimes government doesn’t do it well.
But the government, especially municipal government are your neighbours for goodness sakes. And Vance made big strides with the help of outsiders himself.

He just doesn’t get by the distrust for government. He doesn’t make the connection between public servants like his teachers and the politicians and judges he worked for and government with the big ‘G’. A man who served loyally in the Marines, who knows what collective action must mean, even if he might have questioned his country’s ultimate role in iraq.

Vance talks in so many cliches, the biggest one being “working-class” Americans as if there was ever a clear divide between people who don’t work and people who do work. That might have made sense in Edwardian England but it was never true of America.

Those blue-collar jobs aren’t coming back. Something must replace them, and somehow the work ethic outside of the home must come back too. And replace the sense of victimisation.

Ultimately I don't think Vance's book answers some of the big questions about Trump's victory. Indeed in the hill country of Kentucky we see the same distrust of government that Trump played upon but that is nothing new and not unique to Trump. It's been going on for a long time and has been a staple of Republican rhetoric and talk radio for a very long time.

I'm more likely going to re-read Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter or maybe Arthur Miller's The Crucible to rediscover the society which is suspicious of everything, possibly because the frontier is so spooky, and possibly because Americans treat their own government as if it were filled with witches and warlocks. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
I grew up in Southern Indiana, a stone's throw from these folks, and fully appreciate the struggles JD Vance endured. I remember going to the hollers of Kentucky as a child to visit distant relatives (?). They had a outhouse. To me, it was a different planet. While I was the first one in my family to go to college, there was never any doubt that I would rise with the tide and fulfill the dreams my parents had for me. Now, on the other side, I still visit those people and places in my love of Southern writing and stories about small rural towns and their community solidarity. But it's good to be on the outside looking in. ( )
  jemisonreads | Jan 22, 2024 |
It was ok but could have been much better. Not sure I read anything that particularly surprised me (well, his personal success story in the face of significant challenges was wonderful) but it would have made for a better narrative had the book been more carefully edited. For example, I didn't need to hear him repeat his mother's problems for the nth time. And much of the material was irrelevant. Between these two things (duplication and irrelevance), it was a chore to finish.
( )
  donwon | Jan 22, 2024 |
This is an interesting personal memoir, but not the fascinating insight into the Trump movement that NPR led me to expect. It’s a well-written, sometimes moving, always affectionate, look at the family and community of a man who was raised in a poor, working-class area, but who managed to graduate from law school at Yale. It seems honest, and he doesn’t shy away from the ugliness, but neither does he wallow in it. He has interesting things to say, but there’s no point in detailing it, as it’s already been well covered. The New Yorker and the National Review both did a good job from their respective ideologies.

I was most interested in his discussion of the barriers to success, both societal and self-imposed, faced by the poor white working-class. Not just barriers to becoming a rich Yale graduate, but even just the challenges to achieving middle class status with a decent, steady job.
( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
I have no idea why this book is rated so high? I listened to it and I strongly suggest no one does this. The author reads it and he is simply horrible. No inflection or personality whatsoever. They obviously wanted to save money and it shows. ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 332 (næste | vis alle)
tilføjet af janw | RedigerNew Yorker, Josh Rothman (Sep 12, 2016)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (4 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Vance, J. D.primær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carlson-Stanisic, LeahDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Heuvelmans, TonOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Raynaud, VincentOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Taylor, JarrodOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Vance, J. D.Fortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Introduction
My name is J. D. Vance, and I think I should start with a confession: I find the existence of the book you hold in your hands somewhat absurd.
Like most small children, I learned my home address so that if I got lost, I could tell a grown-up where to take me.
[Afterword] Many people, especially those who know me well, have asked me to describe my life since Hillbilly Elegy was published about two years ago.
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Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. 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 their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America.

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