by J.D. Vance

I enjoyed this book even more than I expected. I knew it was a memoir. So I knew it would cover the author’s personal experience and life. What I didn’t expect was how much it covered an entire micro-culture from a sociological perspective. Going deep into the plight of working-class whites of Appalachia, the book examines the difficulty of being brought up in an environment of poverty, addiction, lack of formal education, and abuse.

JD Vance delivers an insightful, raw, and unflinching view of his childhood, upbringing, family, education, and career. His push-pull, love-hate relationship with his past and his people rings true of so many others that deeply love their family and aspects of their community and culture, while wanting to escape it and make something more of themselves. His feelings of deep loyalty, while also asking more of the people from where he came from, come through strongly in his book.