Saturday, May 2, 2020

Hillbilly Elegy

I really enjoyed this smart and talented young man's journey out of poverty and into a future of his own making and I really rooted for him the whole time. He wrote well and persuasively - some times TOO persuasively. The reason I didn't rank this book higher is because it was a little too preachy - which honestly maybe was his intention; but still irked me none the less. I was also saddened that he thought government intervention was largely a waste on kids and families like him in the Appalachian mountains and in the rust belt. His attitude is more that hillbillies, family units, and communities have to start their own change rather than needing outside assistance. Don't get me wrong that has to change too - but I think it needs to be a mixture of the two. In this heartfelt memoir; JD Vance tells about his conventional upbringing and how he was able to overcome the many challenges (poverty, addiction, abuse, rotating dads, etc) because of his Mamaw and the Marines. He pulls himself up by the bootstraps and does what no one in his family has ever done before - go to Yale. It's 100% impressive and inspiring, especially when you read about his childhood. I could have done without the preachiness at the end though.

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