Author J.D. Vance threw a culture war smart bomb at us four years ago.
His 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” dared to take flyover country seriously, causing shock waves in and out of polite society following Donald Trump’s electoral victory.
The tome disparaged the welfare state and addressed class more than race, connecting Vance’s impoverished youth to that of his neighbors. He had no patience for identity politics, and “Elegy” offered a respite from the toxic trend.
If the memoir hit shelves today, not four years ago, the outrage would have been stronger, more censorial.
Still, “Hillbilly Elegy” stood out for its honesty and the quality of the author’s voice. The media offered up some grudging respect, even while staying suspicious of Vance’s motives.
It also gave clueless progressives a new talking point – “is this why Trump won?”
The inevitable film adaptation, commandeered for Neflix by Oscar winner Ron Howard, strains to avoid more culture war dustups.