When most people talk about poverty it’s usually in the context of the urban black environment. The truth is there are more white poor, than black poor. This book shows us poverty through the scope of the white underclass, often referred to as hillbilly, redneck, or white trash. J.D. Vance takes us through the Rust Belt and helps us understand what went wrong there. Through wonderful stories about his Appalachian grandparents and terrible stories of his drug addicted mother, we come to understand how complicated it is to eradicate poverty in America. Poverty, drug addiction, alcoholism, and violence are the staples of Vance’s childhood. A hard book to get through, but even harder to put down.
Primarily a memoir, Vance peppers his story with sociological and political opinions and insights. This is intelligently written. His perspective is of a young man who escaped from the self-pitying, unemployed rust belt. The traditions of his family are edgy and of value, such as patriotism and loyalty to family above all, albeit mixed with violent impulses. — John, Vroman's