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Biblio File: Contemporary Classics Book Discussion: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

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April 20, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018
2-3 PM

Room 67 | Conference Room A

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

Growing up in Appalachia may leave a person open to harsh criticism and stereotype, yet Vance delves into his childhood and upbringing to make a clear distinction between perception and reality.

Born in Kentucky and shuffling among homes in Ohio, the author ended the cycle of poverty, abuse, and drug use after becoming a U.S. Marine and Yale Law School graduate. His memoir is less about his triumph and more about exposing the gritty truth of how a culture fell into ruin. Using examples from his own life with references to articles and studies throughout, Vance's intent is to show that what was once the fulfillment of the American Dream—moving to the Rust Belt for a better life—has now left families in peril. His plea is not for sympathy but for understanding. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this memoir is akin to investigative journalism. 

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