J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family & Culture in Crisis

The Decline of the White Working Class

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The world is still trying to sort out the ramifications of “President Donald Trump” and how an outsider could outfox the establishment of the two most powerful political parties on the planet.  Some useful context can be found in a best-selling book from 2016, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance.  It is an intense and sobering autobiography that captures the struggles and dysfunction in hollowed out blue collar towns across the Rust Belt where Trump surprised the pollsters and flipped enough blue states to win the Electoral College vote.  “Hillbilly Elegy” is a good companion book to “Coming Apart”, another best-seller by America’s leading social scientist, Charles Murray.  Here is a link to a video conversation between J.D. Vance and Charles Murray from 10/11/2016:

Click here to see video in full.White Working-Class Americans J.D. Vance and Charles Murray talked about challenges facing members of the white working class and barriers to economic mobility. Mr. Vance talked about his latest book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, where he reflects on his life growing up in a white working-class community of Middletown, Ohio. Mr. Murray was the author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.

“The Decline of the White Working Class” was a Bradley Lecture event at the American Enterprise Institute.


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