The reading chosen for our next meeting is:
"Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis"
by American author and venture capitalist J. D. Vance.
From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.
Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love.” They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history.
Delving into his own personal story and drawing on a wide array of sociological studies, Vance takes us deep into working class life in the Appalachian region. This demographic of our country has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, and Vance provides a searching and clear-eyed attempt to understand when and how “hillbillies” lost faith in any hope of upward mobility, and in opportunities to come.
At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.D. Vance is an investor, a political and public policy commentator, and a bestselling author. Raised by his working class grandparents in Middletown, Ohio, J.D. graduated from Middletown High School in 2003 and then enlisted in the Marine Corps. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After graduating from Ohio State University where he studied Political Science and Philosophy, he studied at Yale Law School. Vance earned his law degree in 2013.
He serves as a principal at the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Mithril Capital. He is a partner at Revolution and works on Rise of the Rest, a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs. He returned to Ohio to found “Our Ohio Renewal,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the state’s opioid crisis.
Vance splits his time between Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. He is married to one of his former law school classmates, Usha, an Indian-American who is a law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The couple has one son, Ewan, born on 4 June, 2017.
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If you want to join please sign up by April 29 to confirm your attendance either via email at email@example.com, or stop by FRIEDA, 320 Walnut Street.
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FRIEDA is a social start-up business with the goal to (re)connect generations.
Please be aware that the social gatherings are free but a minimum consumption of $6* per person will be expected.
This is your active support for the free programming that so many of you enjoy and for our Community Outreach. It also helps us create fair-wage jobs for people of all generations - many of whom are retired, but still needing to work to make ends meet.
Please be respectful, no outside food or drinks allowed.
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