"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
The book’s contents are designed to follow the life cycle of a new business venture. Topics are covered in the order that entrepreneurs can expect to encounter them as they begin the process of business start-up and move into growing the business.
A comprehensive financial spreadsheet template is included with the book. This tool allows for the application of many of the concepts to actual businesses, and can be a valuable supplement to the process of developing a full business plan. The financial spreadsheet templates are available for unlimited free downloads at Professor Cornwall’s blog site: www.drjeffcornwall.com.
Key Changes in the Third Edition
• The authors have added material on how the book’s financial templates align with business modeling.
• The financial templates have been updated and now include more up-to-date assumptions on benefit costs.
• There is updated coverage of debt and equity financing due to new regulations and evolving investor expectations.
• The bootstrapping chapter has been revised to reflect the explosion of social media and its impact on bootstrap marketing.
A comprehensive spreadsheet financial template is included with the book. This tool allows for the application of many of the concepts to actual businesses, and will be a valuable supplement to the process of developing a full business plan. The spreadsheet financial templates are available for unlimited free downloads at www.drjeffcornwall.com.