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One Book One DU

One Book One DU
Hillbilly Elegy Book Cover

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J.D. Vance

One Book One DU

"I didn't write this book because I've accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I've achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn't happen to most kids who grow up like me."

How do individuals, from a wide range of backgrounds and value systems, become a community? This is the major challenge and greatest reward of a University campus -- learning more about yourself through your interactions and friendships with those vastly different. Through One DU One Book, the University seeks to provide a shared intellectual experiences for the community to reflect on the roots of our beliefs, our aspirations, our values, and on how we can leverage our collective experiences toward the University's mission of contributing to the public good.  

The University is pleased to announce this year's One Book One DU book selection is  Hillbilly Elegy , by J.D. Vance. It is the story of a young man growing up in Appalachia, with grim prospects for a secure future.  Vance uses his own story as a backdrop for discussion about what social, regional, and class decline feels like, and how upward mobility feels once it is obtained. Spoiler alert: Vance is now a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm, former marine and Yale Law School graduate. He has contributed to the National Review and The New York Times, and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Faculty/staff members: If you are currently or interested in pursuing programming related to the Hillbilly Elegy selection, please contact Undergraduate Academic Programs at