If you liked Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance…

…then try one of these similar titles!

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia / Dennis Covington

Describes a trial, in which the leader of a snake-handling cult was convicted of trying to murder his wife with rattlesnakes.

 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City / Matthew Desmond

A Harvard sociologist examines the under-represented challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.

 

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America / Kathryn J. Edin

A revelatory assessment of poverty in America examines the survival methods employed by households with virtually no income to illuminate disturbing trends in low-wage labor and income inequality.

 

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America / Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed is a modern classic that deftly portrays the plight of America’s working-class poor. Author Barbara Ehrenreich decides to see if she can scratch out a comfortable living in blue-collar America. What she discovers is a culture of desperation, where workers often take multiple low-paying jobs just to keep a roof overhead.

The Distance Between Us / Reyna Grande

Traces the author’s experiences as an illegal child immigrant, describing her father’s violent alcoholism, her efforts to obtain a higher education, and the inspiration of Latina authors.

 

Strangers in Their Own Land / Arlie Russel Hochschild

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into the heart of the bayou of Lake Charles, Louisiana, a stronghold of the conservative Right.

 

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America /Nancy Isenberg

A history of the class system in America from the colonial era to the present illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, citing the pivotal contributions of lower-class white workers in wartime, social policy, and the rise of the Republican Party.

 

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx/ Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Follows two teenagers coming of age in the midst of the Bronx drug trade as they experience budding sexuality, teen parenthood, and gang identity in a social examination of the challenges of family life in the face of violence.

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America / Linda Tirado

We in America have certain ideas of what it means to be poor. Linda Tirado takes all of these preconceived notions and smashes them to bits. She articulates not only what it is to be working poor in America (yes, you can be poor and live in a house and have a job, even two), but what poverty is truly like on all levels? Tirado discusses how she went from lower-middle class, to sometimes middle class, to poor and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why poor people don’t always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should.

The Glass Castle / Jeannette Walls

The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family’s nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

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