If you haven't already read this book, I know you have heard about it during the recent presidential election. Hillbilly Elegy is J.D. Vance's memoir of growing up in rust-belt white America, and his attempt to offer insight on that culture in southern Ohio.
Mr. Vance tells about his gun-toting grandmother, his heavy-drinking grandfather, and his man-shuffling mother in his unsettled childhood. But, he also credits the success he experiences to the unconditional love and support from that Mamaw.
J.D. gets away from the discouraging and failing culture by joining the Marines, where he says he learned life-skills which had been missing from his childhood. Then, as a reader, you can judge how/why the author is able to complete his undergrad degree and then graduate from Yale Law School, when others from his same culture have been so unable to make their way out.
Reviewers say this book helps explain why discouraged "redneck" Americans (J.D. uses that term) voted for Trump. Others say that the author finds it too easy to blame disadvantaged Americans for their own hard lives.
For sure, Vance's writing will make you think about American lives and American values and how America can help make changes in such underprivileged areas. The book is fascinating and easy to read, and I think it will continue to be widely read and discussed.