The last time I met with my LA book club was right before the recent election. We had an animated discussion about the voter demographics that ended up significantly influencing the election’s results just days later. During the discussion, I proposed that we select Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance as our book for December to continue our discussion about the role of the white working class in America’s future.
At the time, none of us knew that white working class voters in Rust Belt and elsewhere would come out in droves to vote for Trump, or that they would believe Trump’s and the Republican party’s ongoing rhetoric that all of their problems were due to the current Democratic government. Some of these voters also felt their ideals unfortunately represented in the racism and discrimination spewed by the Trump campaign. The election demonstrated the importance of this sometimes ignored group of people, who have certainly faced the death of their American dream due in part to the decrease in factory and manufacturing jobs.
In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance provides a biography of his white working class (or ‘hillbilly’) family, trying to extrapolate from his personal experience an explanation of the status and viewpoints of white working class people in America today. Read my review and enter the giveaway to receive a hardcover copy of Hillbilly Elegy.