Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in CrisisHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After seeing this book mentioned all over the place in regards to this year's election I had to see what all the excitement was about. Although it doesn't necessarily answer why poor white working class are attracted to the Republicans and the Donald Trump phenomenon this may give some clues as to what their experiences are and why they are angry.

Even though Vance is from hillbilly country in Kentucky and Ohio but it could be almost anywhere in our country. Some parts of it even reminded me of my own up bringing in Massachusetts as a child of a working class mother who was divorced with three kids. We also were helped by grandparents and are very thankful for them.

The authors story is also one of overcoming hardships and battles he fought along the way. One theme that comes out of this book is how others who support us along the way can influence us and give us a step up. Vance got it from his grandparents, the Marines, his sister and others who helped him overcome his situation. It reminds me of the Hillary Clinton book "It takes a village" in part that our success is built with the support of others.

Vance does credit his success with the help of others but even he doesn't have a single catch all answer for the majority of others in a similar situation to overcome poverty, addiction, joblessness and just plain poor decisions. No one government program, education initiative or jobs program will solve all the problem's which some of the blame also lies within their own attitudes. Though though the author does say that doesn't mean we shouldn't help "put a thumb on the scale" to help those in need. That one time may just mean the difference in someone's life.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment