Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy

By Michael Hobbes & Peter Shamshiri

In 2016, J.D. Vance informally launched his political career with "Hillbilly Elegy," a memoir that blames the relative poverty of Appalachian and Rust Belt populations on their own culture. Despite its reactionary premise, mainstream and liberal press outlets were so enamored by the book that they accidentally made Vance a senator.

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Appalachian Reckoning America’s Divided Recovery What Did Hillbilly Elegy Get Wrong? J.D. Vance, the False Prophet of Blue America Hillbilly ElitismWelfare Queens and White Trash Consumer Expenditures in 2016 Household Expenditures and Income CFPB Data Point: Payday Lending 

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