#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD "You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist "A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. 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. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
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A new theoretical analysis of the rise of Donald Trump, Marine le Pen, Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders, Silvio Berlusconi, and Viktor Orbán.
On his very first day of school as a substitute teacher, Cinque Henderson was cursed at and openly threatened by one of his students. Not wanting trouble or any broken bones, Henderson called the hall monitor, who escorted the student to the office. But five minutes later the office sent him back with a note that read, “Ok to return to class.” That was it: no suspension, no detention, no phone call home, nothing. Sit Down and Shut Up: How Discipline Can Set Students Free is a passionate and personal analysis of Henderson's year as substitute teacher in some of America’s toughest schools. Students disrespected, yelled at, and threatened teachers, abetted by a school system and political culture that turned a willfully blind eye to the economic and social decline that created the problem. Henderson concludes that the failures of our worst schools are the result of a population in crisis: classrooms are microcosms of all our nation’s most vexing issues of race and class. The legacy and stain of race—the price of generational trauma, the cost of fatherlessness, the failures of capitalism, the false promise of meritocracy—played itself out in every single interaction Henderson had with an aggressive student, an unengaged parent, or a failed administrator. In response to the chaos he found in the classroom, Henderson proposes a recommitment to the notion that discipline—wisely and properly understood, patiently and justly administered—is the only proper route to freedom and opportunity for generations of poor youth. With applications far beyond the classroom, Henderson’s experiences offer novel insights into the pressing racial, social, and economic issues that have shaped America’s cultural landscape. Sure to ignite discussion and controversy, Sit Down and Shut Up provides a frank evaluation of the broken classrooms of America and offers a bold strategy for fixing them.