Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance talks with Alexandra Wolfe about his book, Hillbilly Elegy:

“I think it speaks to a couple of things: First, that people are really curious about the anger and frustration of the white working class; second, that members of the white working class have been hungry to have someone tell their story,” he says.

He hopes that his experiences and path upward with the help of religion, discipline and family will inspire communities to promote those values. “Concretely, I want pastors and church leaders to think about how to build community churches, to keep people engaged, and to worry less about politics and more about how the people in their communities are doing,” he says. “I want parents to fight and scream less, and to recognize how destructive chaos is to their children’s future.”

He thinks that school leaders could help by being more cognizant of what’s going on in students’ home lives. But most of all he wants people to hold themselves responsible for their own conduct and choices. “Those of us who weren’t given every advantage can make better choices, and those choices do have the power to affect our lives,” he says.

Rod Dreher did a fantastic interview with Vance. It prompted me to read the book this past weekend. Extraordinary memoir of a life and a people.