Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance is an account of the struggles of white working-class Americans in the post-industrial United States. The author offers a message of hope by telling the story of how he went from growing up poor in Ohio's Rust Belt to graduating from Yale Law School.
James David (J. D.) Vance's family is of Scots-Irish descent. His people have a long history of enduring poverty and hardship. Since the 18th century in the United States, the Scots-Irish have been plantation workers, sharecroppers, miners, and factory and millworkers. Many settled or have roots in Appalachia. Other Americans sometimes consider J. D.'s people "hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash". As industrial manufacturing has declined in recent decades, hillbillies have been hit especially hard.
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