Book discussion on “the Trump whisperer”

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Join the NCSU Libraries for a “Read Smart” book discussion of J. D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy at Raleigh’s Cameron Village Regional Library (1930 Clark Ave.) on Monday, April 24 at 7-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sarah Cannon, edTPA Coordinator and English education instructor in the College of Education at NC State, will lead a discussion of the book. Vance will not be in attendance.

Vance, a controversial author and political commentator, has been called “the Trump whisperer” for his probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through Vance’s upbringing in the poor Rust Belt town of Middletown, Ohio and Jackson, Kentucky in Appalachia. Vance has gone on to become a Marine and graduate from Yale Law School, and is now a political contributor at CNN.

Throughout the recent presidential campaign, pundits cited Hillbilly Elegy as providing insight into the mindset of the disenfranchised, white voters who carried Donald Trump to the White House. The book will soon be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard.

"As our political climate becomes more polarized, it is imperative that we truly listen to one another and attempt to understand perspectives that may be different from our own,” Cannon says. “Regardless of whether one believes Vance's central thesis, Hillbilly Elegy provides insight into a life greatly influenced by generational poverty. The memoir represents his perspective on his own life. Listening with respect to how other individual's interpret their own lives is an important first step in bridging ideological divides."

“Read Smart” is a collaboration between NCSU Libraries Presents and Cameron Village Regional Library.