"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.
This ground-breaking book brings together a team of experts on the contemporary global capitalist political economy who are able to shed light on the inner workings of global capitalism and the capitalist globalization process that has led to the growth and development of capitalism from the national to the global level, with all its fundamental internal dynamics and contradictions operating on a world scale. It will make an important contribution to understanding the underlying causes of the current global economic crisis and show the way out of this crisis by way of a powerful critique of the global capitalist system that will ultimately go through a major economic, political, and social transformation.
Analysis of the global capitalist crisis raises questions regarding the process of capitalist globalization, especially now that neoliberal economic policies have failed. Does this signal the end of capitalist globalization and the collapse of the global capitalist system? This book will take up these questions and entertain the possibility of a new beginning in the global political economy through an analysis of the next period of post-capitalist developments worldwide that may set the stage for the rise of socialism across the globe.