Why is the book “Hillbilly Elegy” so popular in the United States?


If you read this book, you will understand why the United States is so divided. The author of the book is a descendant of Scots-Irish. The land of their ancestors, Scotland, was occupied by Britain, and then Ireland was also occupied. Later, the British asked some people in Scotland to move to Ireland, where they were second-class citizens and helped the British supervise Irish tax payment. Such people are called Scots-Irish. About one hundred and fifty years later (18-19th century), the British let Scots-Irish emigrate to North America and do the same to the Irish. After they were forced to come to North America, they figured out the British tactics and began to cooperate with the North Americans to fight the British. Since then, North America has gained independence and the Scots-Irish people have also settled in the United States.

Although they finally had their own “homeland”, they encountered various economic difficulties because they came to a foreign country with bare hands. In order to find job opportunities, they are forced to move all the time, and they often appear in the mines. From their older generation to the present young people, very few people have the opportunity to go to college, one is because they are trapped in the economy, and the other is trapped in their group culture (drugs, violence, divorce, chaotic sex, group loyalty, The sense of group honor, etc.) They are trapped in this quagmire, so that they have lost the motivation to pursue American Dream. Many people live on minimum government assistance and give up looking for work.

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The author’s mother is also deeply involved in drug abuse, violence (the author was almost shot), and sexual confusion (the number of divorces and marriages is so high that the author can’t figure out which father is his). For the author, the family is not with his mother, but with his grandma. The author’s grandmother is also a “hillie”, but he gave the author a stable home, she took care of the author and encouraged him to study hard. The author is also very “upward mobility” and hardworking. In order to pay for his living expenses in college, he works as a bricklayer. Even during college, he can still work part-time for 2-3 jobs. I pick up the lights and wait until midnight, sleep only 3-4 hours a day, and strive to graduate in 2 years. Such a scene is in sharp contrast with other “lazy people” in the same country. But you can see that for Scots-Irish to succeed, it needs to work harder than ordinary people!

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In the United States, many people hear about black/Asian/Latin American discrimination, or white privileges, but no one pays attention to such a group of poor whites who are in pain, so his book presents a new perspective. Many people who read this book do not know that there is such a group of people.

This book is worth reading.

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