I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember. I have, to put it mildly, a complex relationship with my parents, one of whom has struggled with addiction my entire life. My grandparents, neither of whom graduated from high school raised me and few members of my extended family attended college. The statistics tell you that kids like me face a grim future. If they’re lucky they’ll manage to avoid welfare; and if they’re unlucky they’ll die of a heroin overdose, as happened to dozens in my small town just last year. Most Americans call them rednecks, white trash, or hillbillies, to me they are friends, family, and neighbors.
— Hillbillie Elegy, JD Vance