Lael Brainard served as vice president and director of the Brookings Institution's Global Economy and Development program, 2006–09. She has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be under secretary of the U.S. Treasury for international affairs.
Abigail Jones is a research analyst with Brookings.
Nigel Purvis is the president of Climate Advisers and a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future. He is a former senior U.S. climate change negotiator, acting most recently as deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment, and science.
"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.
This volume—written by members of the private sector, philanthropic organizations, and academia—investigates ways to galvanize the private sector in the fight against global poverty. Using a bottom-up approach, they describe how the private sector affects growth and poverty alleviation. They also review the impediments to private capital investment, and discuss various approaches to risk mitigation, including public sector enhancements, and identify some specific new plans for financing development in neglected markets, including an equity-based model for financing small-to-medium-sized enterprises. From the top-down, the authors look at the social and environmental impact of private sector activities, investigate public-private partnerships, explore new perspectives on the role of multinationals, and discuss an in-depth case study of these issues as they relate to global public health. In addition to providing a broad overview of the current issues, this forward-looking volume assesses the action-oriented initiatives that already exist, and provides templates and suggestions for new initiatives and partnerships.
Contributors include David DeFerranti (Brookings Institution), Timothy Freundlich (Calvert Social Investment Foundation), Ross Levine (World Bank), Sylvia Mathews (Gates Foundation), Jane Nelson (Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government), Alan Patricof (APAX Partners), Warrick Smith (World Bank), and Julie Sunderland (APAX Partners).