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'Hillbilly Elegy' Recalls A Childhood Where Poverty Was 'The Family Tradition'

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) arrives on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wis., on July 15.
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Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) arrives on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wis., on July 15.

Editor's Note 7/16/2024: Terry Gross' interview with J.D. Vance about his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, was originally broadcast on Aug. 17, 2016. With the news of Vance's nomination for Vice President, interest in this conversation has resurfaced. You can find the 2016 transcript below or click on the audio link above. For more on Vance as a candidate, please turn to the NPR Politics team's coverage here.

J.D. Vance grew up in a Rust Belt town in Ohio, in a family from the hills of eastern Kentucky. Hillbilly Elegy details the social isolation, poverty and addiction that afflict poor white communities.

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