book hack

Hillbilly Elegy

J. D. Vance

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Hillbilly Elegy is the inspiring autobiography of J.D. Vance who explains how his life began in poverty and turbulence, and what he had to do to beat those difficult circumstances and rise to success.

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Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy

by J. D. Vance

Overview

When we talk about the American Dream, what comes to mind? Probably the story of someone coming from a disadvantaged situation, and working hard to pull themselves up out of poverty. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, right?

This dream is somewhat controversial because it isn't equally accessible to everyone, but Americans love this kind of story. Just look to Hollywood, and you will find countless movies featuring this storyline.

In Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, self-proclaimed hillbilly J.D. Vance tells his version of the American Dream. Born into a life of poverty, violence, and substance abuse in a rural town, he tells the story of how he managed to escape the cycle, and eventually land a job in Silicon Valley.

Favorite quote

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It's not your fault that you're a loser; it's the government's fault.

- J.D. Vance

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