Author says Trump voters wanted to 'shake up the system'


There's been much debate over what exactly propelled Donald Trump to victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Some in the Clinton camp have assigned blame to FBI director James Comey, while others like Bernie Sanders point to "identity politics." Author J.D. Vance of the new bestselling book "Hillbilly Elegy" takes a different approach.

According to Vance's new book, which the New York Times placed on its list of books to help understand Trump's win, many voters were looking to reject the status quo in the recent election, and Donald Trump represented that very rejection at the ballot box. In "Hillbilly Elegy," Vance tells the story of "a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans."


"You don't have to agree with him. He was going against the mainstream consensus," Said Vance of Trump. "People were looking to shake up the system."

In "Hillbilly Elegy," Vance offers details growing up in a poor Rust Belt town, delivering a broad look at the struggles of America's working class.

The New York Times called Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy" a "compassionate, discerning sociological analysis...Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he's done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that."

"What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it," says Globe and Mail.

"Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" was released on June 28, 2016.