Author Topic: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?  (Read 7210 times)

MoneyCat

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Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« on: August 14, 2016, 04:32:44 PM »
I just read "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance on a flight and it really struck home with me. It's a memoir about a man who grew up in a Kentucky hillbilly white trash family transplanted to Middletown, OH and how he escaped from a life of poverty and despair. His mother was a drug-addicted "serial monogamist" who at one point seriously threatened to kill him. He ended up moving from home to home until he could live with his grandparents who consisted of his recovering alcoholic grandfather and his foul-mouthed violent grandmother. Surprisingly enough, his grandparents were the force that helped him develop the strength to escape into the Marines and then go on to Ohio State University and Yale Law School.

It really appealed to me because Vance does not sugarcoat things at all. He explains the sick and twisted thought processes of the impoverished and how they purposefully cause their own self-destruction through laziness, immorality, substance abuse, and neglect. This is exactly the kind of stuff I experienced in my own life until I got my shit together at the age of 29, moved somewhere with better economic prospects, and built my life into something respectable and successful. I think this book is a good companion piece to Linda Tirado's "Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America", which covers a lot of the same ground but comes up with different answers for the problems (i.e. liberal answers as compared to Vance's conservative answers.)

Anybody else read this and have any thoughts on it?

aperture

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 07:55:07 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation. I will look for it at the local library. -Ap.

Sylly

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 09:09:07 PM »
I'm in the process of reading it, but as it's one of two books I'm currently in the middle of, it may take awhile.

I don't usually read non-fictions, but I saw two reviews of it and was so interested in it I had to request it from my library. It does sound very interesting, and the early beginning I've read promises an engaging read. Looking forward to getting through more of it.

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 09:24:11 PM »
Great book. Grew up in Appalachian coal/farm country and it resonated with me. I saw friends and other kids at school struggling with all these things that Vance discusses, even though I didn't understand it fully at the time. I also deeply agree with his perspective - a stable, non-fighting household engenders happiness and success. Vance was able to succeed in high school once he moved in with his grandmother. For me, my parents' stable and happy marriage was the most important thing they gave me. I know how to treat a woman, I know what I should expect in a relationship, and I was able to pursue dreams and passions because of the security and innocence in my home as a child and teen.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 10:40:46 PM by freezerr »

TVRodriguez

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 10:24:00 PM »
Have not read it, but a friend just recommended it very highly to me tonight. I'll be requesting it from the library soon.

Yankuba

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 08:38:05 AM »
I would like to read it - I read a great interview with the author

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 08:47:57 AM »
Sounds good. My librry has 40 holds so it may be a while before I can get a copy.

Wilson Hall

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 12:06:37 PM »
It's next on my list of must-reads. I read an interview with the author on a conservative blog, and found out the following week that the web traffic was so high the site crashed several times. This book is apparently hitting a nerve across the political spectrum.

MoneyCat

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 10:40:19 PM »
A lot of articles about this memoir -- from both ends of the political spectrum -- are focusing on how this book pretty much explains the minds of many Donald Trump voters. Lots of my white trash relatives are Trump voters and they could be characters in this book. They are uneducated with magical thinking about wealth. They blame everyone else -- foreigners, Muslims, Obama -- for their problems instead of facing the fact that you are going to get fired if you take four 45 minute bathroom breaks per work shift. Their "patriotism" consists entirely of waving a US flag -- sometimes in completely unironic combination with a Confederate flag despite the fact that we all grew up in a Northern Union state and those two flags were on opposite sides of the war -- while they post memes calling for violence on other people using their Constitutional rights. They rant and rave about "lazy people on welfare" while simultaneously being on welfare themselves. They thirst for opportunities to dish out their own brand of extrajudicial "outlaw justice" on people by using the massive stash of firearms they somehow own even though they live in a 30 year old mobile home. They are extremely anti-police because the cops always bust them for illegal activities like selling drugs that they engage in to make tax-free money without losing their welfare benefits. It's so disturbing.

stoaX

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 01:50:21 PM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 09:09:45 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Thats crazy.  this title is #6 on the new york times bestseller list.

Are you sure you spelled the tirle right when you searched? Someone at your library system isnt doing their job if they dont have it.

stoaX

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 01:31:59 PM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Thats crazy.  this title is #6 on the new york times bestseller list.

Are you sure you spelled the tirle right when you searched? Someone at your library system isnt doing their job if they dont have it.

I just searched again making sure I spelled it correctly and got "no results" across the entire Orange County California library system. I gotta ask the librarian..something is crazy...

Yankuba

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 01:32:35 PM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Thats crazy.  this title is #6 on the new york times bestseller list.

Are you sure you spelled the tirle right when you searched? Someone at your library system isnt doing their job if they dont have it.

I just searched again making sure I spelled it correctly and got "no results" across the entire Orange County California library system. I gotta ask the librarian..something is crazy...

Maybe it is being censored

MoneyCat

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 09:18:08 PM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

Yankuba

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2016, 07:42:20 AM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

People use check cashing facilities because they don't qualify for bank accounts. Either they lack the required documents (e.g. illegal immigrants) or they are banned from the commercial banking system for prior infractions. Additionally, some folks live in urban areas that lack commercial banks and these people don't have cars. I believe the check cashing fees are fairly reasonable for cashing checks (1% to 4%) - it's the payday loans that are criminal. I think Wal-Mart cashes checks for only $3 per check up to $1000.

I'm with Vance on this one.

MoneyCat

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2016, 07:46:36 AM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

People use check cashing facilities because they don't qualify for bank accounts. Either they lack the required documents (e.g. illegal immigrants) or they are banned from the commercial banking system for prior infractions. Additionally, some folks live in urban areas that lack commercial banks and these people don't have cars. I believe the check cashing fees are fairly reasonable for cashing checks (1% to 4%) - it's the payday loans that are criminal. I think Wal-Mart cashes checks for only $3 per check up to $1000.

I'm with Vance on this one.
I think you are confusing check cashing with payday loans. Check cashing is where people pay a small fee to turn their paychecks into cash to be used. That's not ideal but fine enough for the poor.

Payday loans are where people borrow from shady lenders against their future earnings at rates as high as 2000% interest. It creates perpetual superhigh interest debt that they end up never being able to repay. That should be outlawed.

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Yankuba

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2016, 07:50:56 AM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

People use check cashing facilities because they don't qualify for bank accounts. Either they lack the required documents (e.g. illegal immigrants) or they are banned from the commercial banking system for prior infractions. Additionally, some folks live in urban areas that lack commercial banks and these people don't have cars. I believe the check cashing fees are fairly reasonable for cashing checks (1% to 4%) - it's the payday loans that are criminal. I think Wal-Mart cashes checks for only $3 per check up to $1000.

I'm with Vance on this one.
I think you are confusing check cashing with payday loans. Check cashing is where people pay a small fee to turn their paychecks into cash to be used. That's not ideal but fine enough for the poor.

Payday loans are where people borrow from shady lenders against their future earnings at rates as high as 2000% interest. It creates perpetual superhigh interest debt that they end up never being able to repay. That should be outlawed.

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Ah, my bad. I do agree with you - payday loans are an abomination

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 08:06:19 AM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

People use check cashing facilities because they don't qualify for bank accounts. Either they lack the required documents (e.g. illegal immigrants) or they are banned from the commercial banking system for prior infractions. Additionally, some folks live in urban areas that lack commercial banks and these people don't have cars. I believe the check cashing fees are fairly reasonable for cashing checks (1% to 4%) - it's the payday loans that are criminal. I think Wal-Mart cashes checks for only $3 per check up to $1000.

I'm with Vance on this one.
I think you are confusing check cashing with payday loans. Check cashing is where people pay a small fee to turn their paychecks into cash to be used. That's not ideal but fine enough for the poor.

Payday loans are where people borrow from shady lenders against their future earnings at rates as high as 2000% interest. It creates perpetual superhigh interest debt that they end up never being able to repay. That should be outlawed.

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Arent usury rates regulated by states?

What IS an acceptable maximum rate of interest?

Back in the day, I looked at a house to buy and I would have assumed the mortgage at 16%. Do you think that should be outlawed?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 10:51:32 AM by iris lily »

aperture

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 08:14:11 AM »
Back in the day, I looked at a house to buy and I would have assumed the mortgage at 16%. Do you think that should be outlawed?

Interest then reflected high inflation.  Interests on pay-day loans are not comparable. My $0.02 -Ap

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2016, 10:53:41 AM »
Back in the day, I looked at a house to buy and I would have assumed the mortgage at 16%. Do you think that should be outlawed?

Interest then reflected high inflation.  Interests on pay-day loans are not comparable. My $0.02 -Ap
Do the high rates reflect anything at all? Would those rates reflect risk?

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2016, 11:36:59 AM »
Back in the day, I looked at a house to buy and I would have assumed the mortgage at 16%. Do you think that should be outlawed?

Interest then reflected high inflation.  Interests on pay-day loans are not comparable. My $0.02 -Ap
Do the high rates reflect anything at all? Would those rates reflect risk?

Risk, the fixed costs of lending that are a higher percentage for small loans, and the fact that the borrowers are often desperate, don't have other resources, and willing to way overpay.

Sylly

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2016, 11:27:45 PM »
It's a very good read. I think it's well written. I in no way relate to what the society he's describing, and he's made me consider some things I hadn't before.

I like that Vance acknowledges, and in a way emphasizes, that many things contribute to the current state of crisis (i.e., the answer is all of the above). It's refreshingly rare to get (IMO) a fairly balanced perspective on things. Overall, I don't think the book offers any solution, not that he could, really.. but at least he does point out that individuals can do their part by taking responsibility for themselves.

Meowkins

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2016, 03:54:32 PM »
Okay, I just saw your last post on Mistborn, then saw this. Can we just be friends? I just bought this and am really looking forward to reading it.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2016, 05:57:57 PM »
I thought it was fascinating how family honor was worth defending with fisticuffs. Insults earned a fight. His Grandmother showed him how to physically fight.

At the end of the book when he is shopping for Christmas crap for poor kids I like the way he isnt afraid to call out stuff on the list as useless dumb stuff poor kids wont like. And then, speaking of Christmas, the, scenarios in his family and neighborhood where piles and piles of gifts under the tree was the norm, was also interesting. Of course those gifts were huge stretches for these families, but the appearance was key.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 10:10:28 PM by iris lily »

Kaydedid

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2016, 03:44:49 PM »
Excellent book!  We have some family in Kentucky with the same culture as his family, and their way of living and choices never made sense.  Vance did a superb job of explaining the culture and mindset.

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2016, 12:15:56 PM »
Vance is a very good writer, although I don't agree with absolutely everything he says. He thinks that payday lenders should not be outlawed, because he thinks they serve a necessary service for the poor. Personally, I think payday lenders are the crack cocaine of the 21st century and are a big factor in perpetual cycles of poverty.

People use check cashing facilities because they don't qualify for bank accounts. Either they lack the required documents (e.g. illegal immigrants) or they are banned from the commercial banking system for prior infractions. Additionally, some folks live in urban areas that lack commercial banks and these people don't have cars. I believe the check cashing fees are fairly reasonable for cashing checks (1% to 4%) - it's the payday loans that are criminal. I think Wal-Mart cashes checks for only $3 per check up to $1000.

I'm with Vance on this one.
I think you are confusing check cashing with payday loans. Check cashing is where people pay a small fee to turn their paychecks into cash to be used. That's not ideal but fine enough for the poor.

Payday loans are where people borrow from shady lenders against their future earnings at rates as high as 2000% interest. It creates perpetual superhigh interest debt that they end up never being able to repay. That should be outlawed.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Arent usury rates regulated by states?

What IS an acceptable maximum rate of interest?

Back in the day, I looked at a house to buy and I would have assumed the mortgage at 16%. Do you think that should be outlawed?

Usury rates are regulated, but fees for loans aren't. The loans either don't charge "interest" or charge a small amount plus a fee that makes the effective interest rate (net of fees) much, much higher.

Freakonomics had an interesting segment on payday loans on the podcast and I read a couple other articles on the industry - takeaway I got was that the payday loan industry is the best of a bad set of options for people in a major cash crunch; one of the examples was getting a loan to get an impounded car back - the impound fees are higher than the fees on the payday loan, so it's better than their (admittedly awful) alternative.

I think the two sides of the debate both overstep by claiming (or implying) that poverty is 100% the fault of the persons who are poor OR that it's 100% systemic; the reality is a blend and it's what makes breaking the cycle so danged difficult. We need to help people break the habits that are counterproductive to their long-term well-being (like shirking work) while also helping ease the system that makes it hard for them to escape poverty (e.g. forgiving fines for very low-income criminal offenders or setting the fine proportionate to income, helping convicted felons find work to ease back into civilian life rather than becoming a de facto burden on the state, improving the availability of job-skills training that increases people's earning potential beyond minimum-wage jobs, making childcare available for working single parents at a price they can afford, etc.).

Book looks interesting, definitely going on my reading list.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2016, 07:44:20 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Thats crazy.  this title is #6 on the new york times bestseller list.

Are you sure you spelled the tirle right when you searched? Someone at your library system isnt doing their job if they dont have it.

I just searched again making sure I spelled it correctly and got "no results" across the entire Orange County California library system. I gotta ask the librarian..something is crazy...

My library system has 5 copies.  I'm on the waitlist.  Currently number 74 out of 76.  I'll get back to this thread sometime in the next few years . . .

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2016, 08:04:26 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Orange County Calif. library system now has one copy. One lousy copy. Yet they have tne to twoenty copies of NYT bestsellers that have been on the list anout the same time as Hillbilly Elegy.

This is bugging the heck out of me. What is going on here, hillbillyism? Haha.

I ended up buying a Kindle copy, didnt want to wait for a library copy.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 11:33:08 PM by iris lily »

stoaX

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2016, 10:32:20 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Orange County Calif. library system now has one copy. One lousy copy. Yet they have tne to twoenty copies of NYT bestsellers that have been on the list anout the same tome as Hillbilly Elegy.

This is bugging the heck out of me. What is going on here, hillbillyism? Haha.

I ended up,buyjg a Kindle,copy, didnt want to wait for a library copy.

Thanks!  I am now #22 on the hold list. 

aperture

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2016, 01:15:38 PM »
Just finished Hillbilly Elegy and really loved it. J.D. Vance has brilliant insights into the reasons for poverty, violence, drug addiction and etc. in his community and reveals these insights as he walks you through the nightmare childhood he survived. He also is very good about sharing the positive events of his life including the experiences and relationships that allowed him to escape. As the OP said, I really admire how the author candidly shares his own thought processes and dissonant experiences as he enters the different cultures of his adult world. He is a brave person, and a very good writer with a tale worth hearing.
I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author. It was a fine way to experience this book and I am happy to recommend. Best wishes, Aperture.

Dee18

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2016, 07:55:12 PM »
At OP's suggestion I too just read the book.  I really enjoyed it, especially the first half.  I was both fascinated and horrified by the level of violence he was exposed to.  In the second half I did get a kick out of the fact that the professor who helped him the most, both in making his key career/family choice and in supporting his writing, was Amy Chua, more widely known as Tiger Mom.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2016, 01:43:05 PM »
At OP's suggestion I too just read the book.  I really enjoyed it, especially the first half.  I was both fascinated and horrified by the level of violence he was exposed to.  In the second half I did get a kick out of the fact that the professor who helped him the most, both in making his key career/family choice and in supporting his writing, was Amy Chua, more widely known as Tiger Mom.
interesting! I didnt catch that about the Tiger mom.

pachnik

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2016, 02:04:32 PM »
I'm number 22 on the hold list at my library.  Really interested in reading this. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2016, 11:15:47 PM »
My book club just decided to read this for our December meeting.  I tried my library first -- I would have been #89 on the hard copy wait list and #10 on the e-copy wait list.  With only four weeks to read it, I had to bite the bullet and buy the kindle version from Amazon, but at least my mom and I are splitting the cost since she's in the book club, too.  Looking forward to reading this!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2016, 11:53:49 PM »
I think this book is a good companion piece to Linda Tirado's "Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America", which covers a lot of the same ground but comes up with different answers for the problems (i.e. liberal answers as compared to Vance's conservative answers.)
In that same vein, OTM just wrapped up their poverty series and they mention Tirado's book repeatedly. I was going to read it, but I think your recommendation will prove a lot more entertaining instead.

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2016, 08:25:18 AM »
In that same vein, OTM just wrapped up their poverty series and they mention Tirado's book repeatedly. I was going to read it, but I think your recommendation will prove a lot more entertaining instead.

Thank you for sharing this! I'll be working my through this over the next few days.
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stoaX

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2016, 09:52:36 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Orange County Calif. library system now has one copy. One lousy copy. Yet they have tne to twoenty copies of NYT bestsellers that have been on the list anout the same tome as Hillbilly Elegy.

This is bugging the heck out of me. What is going on here, hillbillyism? Haha.

I ended up,buyjg a Kindle,copy, didnt want to wait for a library copy.

Thanks!  I am now #22 on the hold list.

Finally got it and it was well worth the wait.  Thanks for starting this thread MoneyCat! 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2016, 11:11:47 AM »
Finished it this weekend. The conclusions reached seemed pretty obvious to me, the real value was in the crazy stories.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2016, 07:17:38 PM »
Finished it this weekend. The conclusions reached seemed pretty obvious to me, the real value was in the crazy stories.
Agreed, the family sotries and anecdotes were the good stuff.

J_Stache

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2016, 07:32:37 PM »
In that same vein, OTM just wrapped up their poverty series and they mention Tirado's book repeatedly.

I highly recommend checking out the poverty series. 

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2016, 07:57:12 AM »
Finished it this weekend. The conclusions reached seemed pretty obvious to me, the real value was in the crazy stories.

They were quite a colorful family indeed. I loved Mawmaw who was deeply flawed yet loved her family fiercely.

Eirene

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2016, 01:33:34 PM »
Just put the book on hold at the library, there are long queues both for the e-book and the hardcopy (43 and 100 respectively).

kite

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2016, 05:31:15 PM »
Just finished it. 
Plenty was recognizable as the family I married into has a similar pathology.  They were coal miners from Pennsylvania, different ethnic background, but the addiction, violence, poverty and dysfunction was the same.  Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls are other memoirs (better written, IMO) about impoverished childhoods and the impact of parental poverty, love & neglect.

I liked Vance's book and agree with many of his beliefs.  I think he didn't delve as far into religion as he might have.  There is far more to Christianity than what he covered.  Very likely because he got to know it as a practise through his biological father and was only with him for a brief period as a teen, he doesn't actually have as deep an appreciation as he might.  If there was a part of the book that was lacking, I thought it was around the subject of his dad and church. 

TVRodriguez

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2016, 06:52:24 AM »
Checked my library - they don't have it :(    When I get the round tuit I will ask them to order it.
Thats crazy.  this title is #6 on the new york times bestseller list.

Are you sure you spelled the tirle right when you searched? Someone at your library system isnt doing their job if they dont have it.

I just searched again making sure I spelled it correctly and got "no results" across the entire Orange County California library system. I gotta ask the librarian..something is crazy...

My library system has 5 copies.  I'm on the waitlist.  Currently number 74 out of 76.  I'll get back to this thread sometime in the next few years . . .

I just got the book from the library yesterday!  Happened quicker than I thought.  Put my name on the list at the end of September.  Now that I have it three months later, I've lost some of the urge to read it.

jengod

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2017, 01:11:12 AM »
At the end of the book when he is shopping for Christmas crap for poor kids I like the way he isnt afraid to call out stuff on the list as useless dumb stuff poor kids wont like. And then, speaking of Christmas, the, scenarios in his family and neighborhood where piles and piles of gifts under the tree was the norm, was also interesting. Of course those gifts were huge stretches for these families, but the appearance was key.

In the past I've given children beautiful, carefully selected hardback picture books as gifts and the look in the eyes of the receivers seem to say, quite clearly: "Why would you do this? Do you hate us so much you would give the child homework as a...present? Where's the real gift?" This is not always the case, of course, but I've found that is a common response.

Lesson learned. Plastic-wrapped plastic it is!
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

jamesbond007

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2017, 04:13:45 PM »
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD:






I just finished listening to the audiobook read by JD Vance himself and I must say the book is amazing. I do not anything about the people in the rust belt (I've been living in the states for only about 11 years) and this book is an eye opener. The narration was so strong and vivid that I almost cried when papaw and mamaw died. The book is brilliantly written/read. Highly recommend.
FI by 2025.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2017, 05:33:31 PM »
Just finished reading it based on recommendations here.

Thank you, it was a great book. Highly recommend.

trashmanz

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2017, 12:32:04 AM »
I just finished it a few minutes ago.  Maybe it was all the hype, but although it was an interesting rags to riches type of story I'm not sure what makes his story so groundbreaking?  True he isn't the typical Yale Law Grad, but every law school class typically has socioeconomically diverse selections.  All of it seemed sensible enough, seemed like a guy I would get along with ok with.  From the reviews I expected to gain some new insight into why Trump had so much support, but personally I didn't come away with any more insight than before. 

BTW, for further analysis of +&- of payday loans see: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/payday-loans/
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 12:36:26 AM by trashmanz »

marion10

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2017, 01:40:03 AM »

In the past I've given children beautiful, carefully selected hardback picture books as gifts and the look in the eyes of the receivers seem to say, quite clearly: "Why would you do this? Do you hate us so much you would give the child homework as a...present? Where's the real gift?" This is not always the case, of course, but I've found that is a common response.

Lesson learned. Plastic-wrapped plastic it is!


Had this experience many years ago with my nephew. We spent a week with my sister's family  and my nephew was six. The resort where we were staying had several classical statues and my nephew liked hearing the stories Intold him about the characters. When we got back, I sent him an  illustrated Greek mythology book. I got a phone call from my sister asking me why I got him such a weird present.

As for the book, I didn't find it that ground breaking. I've seen his relatives many times.

iris lily

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Re: Anyone read "Hillbilly Elegy"?
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2017, 10:38:10 AM »
I just finished it a few minutes ago.  Maybe it was all the hype, but although it was an interesting rags to riches type of story I'm not sure what makes his story so groundbreaking?  True he isn't the typical Yale Law Grad, but every law school class typically has socioeconomically diverse selections.  All of it seemed sensible enough, seemed like a guy I would get along with ok with.  From the reviews I expected to gain some new insight into why Trump had so much support, but personally I didn't come away with any more insight than before. 

BTW, for further analysis of +&- of payday loans see: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/payday-loans/
I dont think it presented anything new. The insight into how mawmaw and her husband and family lived, hand to mouth and attemping to show they were not poor, was interesting. Also, how she showed her grandson to fight was, er, interesting.

The Glass Castle is a gem, as mentimed above, but it doesnt attempt to explain a whole group of people (coal moners who mve to the rustbelt.) Jeannette Walls parents were unique.