M. Lobao is Professor of Rural Sociology, Sociology, and Geography at the Ohio State University. She is the author of Locality and Inequality: Farm and Industry Structure and Socioeconomic Conditions, also published by SUNY Press, and coauthor (with Paul Lasly, F. Larry Leistritz, and Katherine Meyer) of Beyond the Amber Waves of Grain: An Examination of Social and Economic Restructuring in the Heartland.
Gregory Hooks is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Washington State University. He is the author of Forging the Military-Industrial Complex: World War IIs Battle of the Potomac.
Ann R. Tickamyer is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio University. She is coeditor (with William W. Falk and Michael D. Schulman) of Communities of Work: Rural Restructuring in Local and Global Contexts.
Contributors include:Lionel Beaulieu, Alessandro Bonnano, David Brown, Ralph Brown, Frederick Buttel, Ted Bradshaw, Douglas Constance, Steve Daniels, Lynn England, William Falk, Cornelia Flora, Jan Flora, Glenn Fuguitt, Nina Glasgow, Leland Glenna, Angela Gonzales, Gary Green, Rosalind Harris, Tom Hirschl, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Leif Jensen, Ken Johnson, Richard Krannich, Daniel Lichter, Linda Lobao, Al Luloff, Tom Lyson, Kate MacTavish, David McGranahan, Diane McLaughlin, Philip McMichael, Lois Wright Morton, Domenico Parisi, Peggy Petrzelka, Kenneth Pigg, Rogelio Saenz, Sonya Salamon, Jeff Sharp, Curtis Stofferahn, Louis Swanson, Ann Tickameyer, Leanne Tigges, Cruz Torres, Mildred Warner, Ronald Wimberley, Dreamal Worthen, and Julie Zimmerman.
"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.