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 Post subject: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 12:51 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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An excellent read.

The subtitle tells it all “A memoir of a family and culture in crisis.” What struck me about this book is the resilience of a young boy who, as an adult, realized that he had a lot of help along the way. Given that Vance started writing the book in 2010, the book is not trying to explain anything about the recent election; although it is difficult not to want to draw some conclusions.

Some of the reviews (Source, HERE):

    “[A] compassionate, discerning sociological analysis…Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that.” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times)

    “[Hillbilly Elegy] is a beautiful memoir but it is equally a work of cultural criticism about white working-class America….[Vance] offers a compelling explanation for why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to make it…a riveting book.” (Wall Street Journal)

    “[Hillbilly Elegy] couldn’t have been better timed...a harrowing portrait of much that has gone wrong in America over the past two generations...an honest look at the dysfunction that afflicts too many working-class Americans.” (National Review)

    “J.D. Vance’s memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy”, offers a starkly honest look at what that shattering of faith feels like for a family who lived through it...” (The Economist)

    “The troubles of the working poor are well known to policymakers, but Vance offers an insider’s view of the problem.” (Christianity Today)

    “Vance movingly recounts the travails of his family.” (Washington Post)

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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:23 am 
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Criminally Insane Cucumber
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I honestly didn't care much for it. :| I never did quite get the idea that the book helped us understand the election. It didn't help me understand the election. But then although I grew up in a middle class family with "educated" parents, I spent about six years in extremely close contact with several hillbilly friends (both staying with the hillbilly parents of a pal of mine for several months, and then sharing a house with some hillbilly pals for a couple of years, and so forth); I served for six years as an enlisted man in the Guards, where my pals were often hillbillies; I worked in sweatshops and other such places for some years where my co-workers were mostly hillbillies; and so on, so nothing much that Vance had to say about hillbillies was new or revealing to me.

What are the conclusions you draw from the book about the election?

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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:52 am 
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That, given the environment described below (an extract from Chapter 9), some Trump supporters might see in him a kindred spirit.

    “This was my world: a world of truly irrational behavior. We spend our way into the poorhouse… Thrift is inimical to our being. We spend to pretend that we’re upper-class…

    “Our homes are a chaotic mess. We scream and yell at each other like we’re spectators at a football game… We apologize… But then we act just as mean a few days later.

    “We don’t study as children, and we don’t make our kids study when we’re parents…

    “We choose not to work when we should be looking for jobs… We talk about the value of hard work but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese.

    “We talk to our children about responsibility, but we never walk the walk…”

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Formerly: Greg.

- I try to have a little something for everybody in my posts. If you notice a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error... well... I put that in for you.

- I remember a lot of things. (Some of which actually happened.)

- Even the best of men may be born in times unsuited to their virtues.


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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:54 am 
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Criminally Insane Cucumber
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I'm sure there's some truth to that, just as many rich and sleazy lawyer-types would see a villain like Clinton as a kindred spirit. But be careful--that last post comes dangerously close to saying "the book confirmed me in my prejudices against Trump voters--they voted for him because they're classless buffoons like him." (I know you said "some.") I don't think that helps you understand the election. Just helps you feel superior.

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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:50 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
... be careful--that last post comes dangerously close to saying "the book confirmed me in my prejudices against Trump voters--they voted for him because they're classless buffoons like him." (I know you said "some.") I don't think that helps you understand the election. Just helps you feel superior.

Noted.

Believe it or not, IRL I have on occasion found myself commenting positively on the president. Not his personal moral failings, but - every now and then - the things he says or tweets about certain happenings on the domestic or foreign scene. The conversation usually starts, "I know what he said sounds (insert pejorative here), but lets look at the actual issue and see what good might come out of his bringing this up." I don't recall ever fully supporting any of his positions, but when things start veering too far to the left I try to insert the idea that his POV might have some - however slight - validity.

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Formerly: Greg.

- I try to have a little something for everybody in my posts. If you notice a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error... well... I put that in for you.

- I remember a lot of things. (Some of which actually happened.)

- Even the best of men may be born in times unsuited to their virtues.


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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:39 am 
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Are you a hillgherkin, gherkin?

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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:23 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Or, rather, a hillpickle?

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J.R.R. Tolkien

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 Post subject: Re: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:56 pm 
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I'm a cucumber. :fyi:

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