Hillbilly Elegy

A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Ranked #2 in Poverty, Ranked #3 in Civicssee more rankings.

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful 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

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. 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, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story...

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Hillbilly Elegy from the world's leading experts.

Bill Gates CEO/MicrosoftThe disadvantaged world of poor white Appalachia described in this terrific, heartbreaking book is one that I know only vicariously. Vance was raised largely by his loving but volatile grandparents, who stepped in after his father abandoned him and his mother showed little interest in parenting her son. Against all odds, he survived his chaotic, impoverished childhood only to land at Yale Law School. While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it. (Source)

Ryan Holiday AuthorIn terms of other surprising memoirs, I found JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy to be another well-written gem. (Source)

Ben Shapiro A very well-written book. [...] The whole thing is a critique of individual decisions. (Source)

Bill Nye Provides the reader with insight into how the United States got into its current mess. (Source)

Tudor Mihailescu Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Vance) is probably least known in my selection, yet I enjoyed a lot. It is less of the actual story it tells, rather by providing a glaring example of ‘there is more than meets the eye’. It shows the power of context to how a certain person is brought up, ends up doing in life. And, at a bigger scale, may explain political or social trends that otherwise appear as a total surprise. Personally, I was reading this book while on the professional side I was working to improve my leading through questions techniques, which also pushes... (Source)

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