Hillbilly Elegy


Format: Dead Trees

Source: Public Library

Rating: 3.25

Sometimes you read a memoir of someone who has lived and extraordinary life and  sometimes  they have just lived a dull life.  This book lands somewhere in the middle.  Vance grew up in Ohio, but his family hails from Kentucky.  They were poor and with that come  some troubles. Vance’s mother was an addict.  She was always struggling to keep it together.  Vance spent most of his life living with his Grandmother.  One thing that makes Vance’s story interesting is he is a survivor / fighter.  He left the poor community where he grew and joined the Marines.  The Marines deprogrammed a lot of his understanding of life.  Growing up in such a poor community sometimes life looks so different than it does for normal working class folks.  After the Marines Vance went to Ohio State, and then on to Yale Law school.  It is a great story about someone who came from nothing and went on to really make something of himself.

Vance briefly touches on the psyche of habitually poor communities and the mindset that gets passed down from generation to generation.  I am sure he is glad he was able to break the cycle.



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