Pride and Poverty: Beyond HILLBILLY ELEGY

J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy has been on the NYT bestseller list for fifteen weeks. In talking about his Appalachian and Rust Belt youth, Vance—a former Marine and Yale Law School graduate—explores how the bottom rung of middle class always seemed out of reach for so many of his friends and family, how manufacturing jobs disappeared, marriages crumbled, and drugs and alcohol wrung the good out of people. Fans of Vance’s book may enjoy these other perspectives on class and culture in America.

all-over-but-the-shoutin-copyAll Over But the Shoutin‘, by Rick Bragg

Belonging: A Culture of Place, by bel hooks

 Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business, Gary Rivlin

 Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, by Charles Murray

Creeker: A Woman’s Journey, by Linda Scott DeRosier

 Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, by Joe Bageant

deer-hunting-with-jesus-copyThe Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande

 Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

 Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, by Linda Tirado

Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City, by Javier Auyero

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee

The Liars’ Club, by Mary Karr

nickel-and-dimed-copyNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in Boom-Time America, by Barbara Ehrenreich

No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home, by Chris Offutt

 Poor People, by William T. Vollmann

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia, by Dennis Covington

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg

The Working Poor: Invisible in America, by David K. Shipler

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About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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