June 28, 2016
Vance is a former marine and Yale Law School graduate who gives a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.
I find myself returning to a famous video clip on Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. He and the band are getting ready to walk off the stage and he squats down, peers out into the audience and asks "ever feel like you've been cheated?"
This book gets at what Rotten was getting at. The decline of white, working-class, Americans - a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over the last forty years. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. It is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.