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

J.D. Vance’s memoir blends a picture of his life growing up poor in Kentucky’s Appalachian region with historical events and research studies in an attempt to explain the area’s subculture and place it within the broader US political, social, and cultural framework. Vance details how hillbilly life in the region is defined by family loyalty and honour, and the prevalence of poverty, family dysfunction, substance abuse, and misplaced pride, all of which prevent people from achieving the American Dream they seek. This engaging work is suitable for mature students in Grades 11 and 12 and is suitable for independent reading, literature circles, or psychology or social justice classes. Social considerations noted.
Working Class Whites
Social Mobility
Hillbilly Culture
Vance, J. D.
Primary Identifier
English Language Arts