the next good book

Hillbilly Elegy

By J.d. Vance


272 pages

What’s it about? J.D. Vance is thirty years old and a former marine, Iraq war veteran, and Yale Law School graduate.  J.D. struggles through school and often feels overwhelmed as a child.  Through his journey we look at a culture in crisis.  Through J.D. Vance’s eyes we feel how limited his life often felt. What did it make me think about? This book made me much more aware of another perspective.  A perspective we have not heard much about until recently.  However, this book did not make me feel like their were easy solutions to the problems we are facing as a nation. Should I read it? This was an quick book to read.  I appreciated what Mr. Vance was trying to say, and he certainly puts a face and voice to another problem in America. Quote- “In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin- “black people’, “Asians”, “white privilege”.  Sometimes these broad categories are useful, but to understand my story, you have to delve into the details.  I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast.  Instead, I identify with the Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree.  To these folks, poverty is the family tradition- their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, share-croppers after that, and machinists and millworkers during more recent times.  Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks or white trash.  I call them neighbors, friends, and family.”

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