Zander Aloi Published

An Elegy Too Soon?


Does the bestselling book “Hillbilly Elegy” unfairly stereotype Appalachians as uniformly violent and poor?

That’s the case Mark Ferguson makes on this week’s episode of “The Front Porch.” Ferguson says things in most of Appalachia are improving, and the book paints an overly negative picture of our region.

The book has gotten a lot of buzz – we talked about it on The Front Porch recently and interviewed Vance for a recent episode of our show Inside Appalachia.

Ferguson is a native of Roanoke, Virginia, and author of The Revivalist, a blog about Appalachian culture.
“Hillbilly Elegy” is J.D. Vance’s memoir of growing up in a fading rust-belt town, and his family’s deep roots in eastern Kentucky.

The editorial of Ferguson’s we discuss can be found at,amp.html

Ferguson’s blog “The Revivalist” can be found at

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An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available above.

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The Front Porch is underwritten by The Charleston Gazette Mail, providing both sides of the story on its two editorial pages. Check it out: