Barry McNamara  |   Published October 26, 2016

Post-election event

J.D. Vance, author of bestselling ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ to speak Nov. 15
  • Bestselling author J.D. Vance will speak at a post-election event on November 15 at 7 p.m. in Wells Theater.
J.D. Vance, author of the New York Times bestseller Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, will speak at a post-election event at Monmouth College.

Free and open to the public, the event will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in Wells Theater.

Vance’s book would have generated interest in any year, but it drew increased attention thanks to the presidential election, as the author compassionately described the white underclass that fueled Donald Trump’s campaign and a resurgence of outsider politics.

The book was further popularized by an interview with the author published by The American Conservative in July.

Recently, he was named one of 16 people to shape the 2016 election by yahoo.com.

“It’s an honor for Monmouth to be hosting the author of the hottest book this campaign cycle,” said Monmouth political science lecturer Robin Johnson. “J.D. Vance captured significant insights into the key demographic of this election cycle – the white working class – and why many of them are attracted to Trump.”

“Vance’s unapologetic autobiography is a poem to the hills and hollers of his childhood where a blue-collar sentiment often blames government and big business for poverty, addiction, violence and families in disarray,” wrote one reviewer.

In another review, titled “J.D. Vance and the Anger of the White Working Class,” it was noted that the book “has struck a nerve.”

“The trials of the white working class have been much discussed this election year: disappearing manufacturing jobs, stagnant wages, opioid addiction,” wrote the reviewer. “Mr. Vance sees the appeal of Donald Trump for people who have ‘this sense that things are kind of apocalyptically bad.’”

Raised in Ohio, with family roots in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Vance enlisted in the Marines and served in Iraq after high school, escaping the fate of family and friends. After his discharge, he graduated Ohio State University and Yale Law School. He works today for Mithril Capital, an investment firm in Silicon Valley.  
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