William White is Emeritus Senior Research Consultant with Chestnut Health Systems and a volunteer consultant with Faces and Voices of Recovery and other recovery advocacy organizations. He has worked in the addictions field since 1969 and is the author of more than 400 articles and 17 books, including the just-released second edition of "Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America"
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported 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 one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his 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 structures common in mutual support groups have influenced the rise of a new recovery advocacy movement and new recovery community institutions such as recovery ministries, recovery community centers, sober cafes, sober sports clubs, and recovery-focused projects in music, theatre and the arts. This volume explores how collectively, these trends reflect the cultural and political awakening of people in recovery and growing recognition and celebration of multiple pathways of long-term addiction recovery.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.