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Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IS NOW A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD AND STARRING AMY ADAMS, GLENN CLOSE, AND GABRIEL BASSO "You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist "A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. 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 one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Appalachian Reckoning by Anthony Harkins
With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region's future? Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia's intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities.
Hillbilly Elegy by James Zimmerhoff
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis is a memoir by J. D. Vance about the Appalachian values of his upbringing and their relation to the social problems of his hometown. 1 Summary 2 Publication 3 Reception 4 References 5 External links Summary Vance describes his upbringing and family background. He writes about a family history of poverty and low-paying, physical jobs that have since disappeared or worsened in their guarantees, and compares this life with his perspective after leaving that area and life. Vance was raised in Middletown, Ohio, though his ancestors were from Breathitt County, Kentucky. Their Appalachian values include traits like loyalty, love of country, and tendency towards violence and verbal abuse. He recounts his grandparents' alcoholism and abuse, and his unstable mother's history of drug addictions and failed relationships. Vance's grandparents eventually reconcile and become his de facto guardians, particularly spurred by his tough but loving grandmother, such that Vance was able to leave his town and ascend social ladders to attend Ohio State University and Yale Law School. Alongside his personal history, Vance raises questions such as the responsibility of his family and people for their own misfortune. Vance blames hillbilly culture and its encouragement of social rot. Comparatively, he feels that economic insecurity plays a much lesser role. While there is danger in blaming a people for their misfortunes, Vance has greater credence as an insider to the culture. As a grocery store cashier working checkout, he watched people on welfare talk on cell phones while Vance himself could not afford one. This resentment towards those who profited from misdeeds while he struggled, especially combined with his values of personal responsibility and tough love, is a microcosm of Appalachia's overall political swing from strong Democratic Party to strong Republican affiliations. Likewise, he recounts stories about lack of work ethic. For example, someone who did not like his job's hours and quit only to post on social media about the "Obama economy," and a co-worker who would skip work even though his girlfriend was pregnant.
Hill Women by Cassie Chambers
After rising from poverty to earn two Ivy League degrees, an Appalachian lawyer pays tribute to the strong “hill women” who raised and inspired her, and whose values have the potential to rejuvenate a struggling region. “Destined to be compared to Hillbilly Elegy and Educated.”—BookPage (starred review) “Poverty is enmeshed with pride in these stories of survival.”—Associated Press Nestled in the Appalachian mountains, Owsley County is one of the poorest counties in both Kentucky and the country. Buildings are crumbling and fields sit vacant, as tobacco farming and coal mining decline. But strong women are finding creative ways to subsist in their hollers in the hills. Cassie Chambers grew up in these hollers and, through the women who raised her, she traces her own path out of and back into the Kentucky mountains. Chambers’s Granny was a child bride who rose before dawn every morning to raise seven children. Despite her poverty, she wouldn’t hesitate to give the last bite of pie or vegetables from her garden to a struggling neighbor. Her two daughters took very different paths: strong-willed Ruth—the hardest-working tobacco farmer in the county—stayed on the family farm, while spirited Wilma—the sixth child—became the first in the family to graduate from high school, then moved an hour away for college. Married at nineteen and pregnant with Cassie a few months later, Wilma beat the odds to finish school. She raised her daughter to think she could move mountains, like the ones that kept her safe but also isolated her from the larger world. Cassie would spend much of her childhood with Granny and Ruth in the hills of Owsley County, both while Wilma was in college and after. With her “hill women” values guiding her, Cassie went on to graduate from Harvard Law. But while the Ivy League gave her knowledge and opportunities, its privileged world felt far from her reality, and she moved back home to help her fellow rural Kentucky women by providing free legal services. Appalachian women face issues that are all too common: domestic violence, the opioid crisis, a world that seems more divided by the day. But they are also community leaders, keeping their towns together in the face of a system that continually fails them. With nuance and heart, Chambers uses these women’s stories paired with her own journey to break down the myth of the hillbilly and illuminate a region whose poor communities, especially women, can lead it into the future.
No Longer Newsworthy by Christopher R. Martin
Until the recent political shift pushed workers back into the media spotlight, the mainstream media had largely ignored this significant part of American society in favor of the moneyed "upscale" consumer for more than four decades. Christopher R. Martin now reveals why and how the media lost sight of the American working class and the effects of it doing so. The damning indictment of the mainstream media that flows through No Longer Newsworthy is a wakeup call about the critical role of the media in telling news stories about labor unions, workers, and working-class readers. As Martin charts the decline of labor reporting from the late 1960s onwards, he reveals the shift in news coverage as the mainstream media abandoned labor in favor of consumer and business interests. When newspapers, especially, wrote off working-class readers as useless for their business model, the American worker became invisible. In No Longer Newsworthy, Martin covers this shift in focus, the loss of political voice for the working class, and the emergence of a more conservative media in the form of Christian television, talk radio, Fox News, and conservative websites. Now, with our fractured society and news media, Martin offers the mainstream media recommendations for how to push back against right-wing media and once again embrace the working class as critical to its audience and its democratic function.
Death In Mud Lick by Eric Eyre
From a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter from the smallest newspaper ever to win the prize in the investigative reporting category, an urgent, riveting, and heartbreaking investigation into the corporate greed that pumped millions of pain pills into small Appalachian towns, decimating communities. Death in Mud Lick is the story of a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, that distributed 12 million opioid pain pills in three years to a town with a population of 382 people—and of one woman, desperate for justice, after losing her brother to overdose. Debbie Preece’s fight for accountability for her brother’s death took her well beyond the Sav-Rite Pharmacy in coal country, ultimately leading to three of the biggest drug wholesalers in the country. She was joined by a crusading lawyer and by local journalist, Eric Eyre, who uncovered a massive opioid pill-dumping scandal that shook the foundation of America’s largest drug companies—and won him a Pulitzer Prize. Part Erin Brockovich, part Spotlight, Death in Mud Lick details the clandestine meetings with whistleblowers; a court fight to unseal filings that the drug distributors tried to keep hidden, a push to secure the DEA pill-shipment data, and the fallout after Eyre’s local paper, the Gazette-Mail, the smallest newspaper ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, broke the story. Eyre follows the opioid shipments into individual counties, pharmacies, and homes in West Virginia and explains how thousands of Appalachians got hooked on prescription drugs—resulting in the highest overdose rates in the country. But despite the tragedy, there is also hope as citizens banded together to create positive change—and won. A work of deep reporting and personal conviction, Eric Eyre’s intimate portrayal of a national public health crisis illuminates the shocking pattern of corporate greed and its repercussions for the citizens of West Virginia—and the nation—to this day.
Southern Migrants Northern Exiles by Chad Berry
One of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history, the great white migration left its mark on virtually every family in every southern upland and flatland town. In this extraordinary record of ordinary lives, dozens of white southern migrants describe their experiences in the northern "wilderness" and their eradicable attachments to family and community in the South. Southern out-migration drew millions of southern workers to the steel mills, automobile factories, and even agricultural fields and orchards of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Through vivid oral histories, Chad Berry explores the conflict between migrants' economic success and their "spiritual exile" in the North. He documents the tension between factory owners who welcomed cheap, naive southern laborers and local "native" workers who greeted migrants with suspicion and hostility. He examines the phenomenon of "shuttle migration," in which migrants came north to work during the winter and returned home to plant spring crops on their southern farms. He also explores the impact of southern traditions--especially the southern evangelical church and "hillbilly" music--brought north by migrants. Berry argues that in spite of being scorned by Midwesterners for violence, fecundity, intoxication, laziness, and squalor, the vast majority of southern whites who moved to the Midwest found the economic prosperity they were seeking. By allowing southern migrants to assess their own experiences and tell their own stories, Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles refutes persistent stereotypes about migrants' clannishness, life-style, work ethic, and success in the North.
Why Fish Don T Exist by Lulu Miller
A Best Book of 2020: The Washington Post * NPR * Chicago Tribune * Smithsonian A “remarkable” (Los Angeles Times), “seductive” (The Wall Street Journal) debut from the new cohost of Radiolab, Why Fish Don’t Exist is a dark and astonishing tale of love, chaos, scientific obsession, and—possibly—even murder. “At one point, Miller dives into the ocean into a school of fish…comes up for air, and realizes she’s in love. That’s how I felt: Her book took me to strange depths I never imagined, and I was smitten.” —The New York Times Book Review David Starr Jordan was a taxonomist, a man possessed with bringing order to the natural world. In time, he would be credited with discovering nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans in his day. But the more of the hidden blueprint of life he uncovered, the harder the universe seemed to try to thwart him. His specimen collections were demolished by lightning, by fire, and eventually by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake—which sent more than a thousand discoveries, housed in fragile glass jars, plummeting to the floor. In an instant, his life’s work was shattered. Many might have given up, given in to despair. But Jordan? He surveyed the wreckage at his feet, found the first fish that he recognized, and confidently began to rebuild his collection. And this time, he introduced one clever innovation that he believed would at last protect his work against the chaos of the world. When NPR reporter Lulu Miller first heard this anecdote in passing, she took Jordan for a fool—a cautionary tale in hubris, or denial. But as her own life slowly unraveled, she began to wonder about him. Perhaps instead he was a model for how to go on when all seemed lost. What she would unearth about his life would transform her understanding of history, morality, and the world beneath her feet. Part biography, part memoir, part scientific adventure, Why Fish Don’t Exist is a wondrous fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail.
Summary Of Hillbilly Elegy by Instaread
Summary of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance | Includes Analysis Preview: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance is an account of the struggles of white working-class Americans in the post-industrial United States. The author offers a message of hope by telling the story of how he went from growing up poor in Ohio’s Rust Belt to graduating from Yale Law School. James David (JD) Vance’s family is of Scots-Irish descent. His people have a long history of enduring poverty and hardship. Since the eighteenth century in the United States, the Scots-Irish have been plantation workers, sharecroppers, miners, and factory and millworkers. Many settled or have roots in Appalachia. Other Americans sometimes consider JD’s people “hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash.”  As industrial manufacturing has declined in recent decades, hillbillies have been hit especially hard. JD was born in Middletown, Ohio, but his first real home was with his grandparents in Jackson, Kentucky… PLEASE NOTE: This is summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance | Includes Analysis · Summary of the Book · Important People · Character Analysis · Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience. Visit our website at instaread.co.