Reactions to Hillbilly Elegy

Here are some reactions from a few people who identify as ‘hillbillies’ and more established media members responding to Vance’s book.

R. Mike Burr: The Self-Serving Hustle of “Hillbilly Elegy”

Aaron M. Renn: Culture, Circumstance, and Agency: Reflections on Hillbilly Elegy

G.W. Para: Hillbilly Fallacy

Elizabeth Catte: For the good of the poor and common people: What Hillbilly Elegy gets wrong about Appalachia’s working class

Mona Charen: What Hillbilly Elegy Reveals About Trump and America

The Aral Sea

To add to Annin’s point about the Aral Sea, here are some photographs and articles about the Aral Sea.

From National Geographic:

The left picture was taken in 2000, the right in 2014. The border is where the sea was in 1960.

The BBC:


Jetty on the Small Aral Sea


The Water and The West

One of the first things mentioned by Annin in the book is the scramble for water in the West: Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and the Dakotas. So I’ll post some articles here that give some background into the increasing conflict between the states and the government and at times the ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. A 4 Part Report from NPR  over the History of Water Rights in the West (2003):

The Vision of John Wesley Powell (August 26, 2003) (Part1)

Divvying Up The Mighty Colorado River (August 27, 2003) (Part 2)

The Battle Over Water Rights (August 28, 2003) (Part 3)

Water As a Cash Crop (August 29, 2003) (Part 4)

2. The Bulletin: Ranchers and Officials Feud Over Water Rights (May 16th, 2004)

3. Denver Water: Water Rights Planning 

4. Bureau of Land Management: The History of Public Land Livestock Grazing (November 6, 2015)

5. Thomas L. Fleischner, PhD.: Land Held Hostage: A History of Livestock and Politics 

6. KQED Science: Court Battle Looms Over California’s Senior Water Rights (June 15, 2015)

7. Huffington Post: Along the Colorado River, Ranchers Square Off Against Cities Over Water Rights (October 26, 2015)

8. The Atlantic: A Free-Market Plan to Save the American West from Drought (March 2016)

9. The Sierra Club: Malheur Refuge Takeover Just The Latest Twist on a Long Running Story (January 15, 2016)

10. ProPublica: The ‘Water Witch’ (June 2, 2015)

11. The Denver Post: Guest Commentary: The West’s Water Right System Is Working (September 26, 2015)

12. The Wall Street Journal: For Water Rights in Montana, It’s Still The Wild West (June 26, 2015)

13. Civil Eats: For Beginning Farmers in the West, Finding the Water to Grow Food is a Constant Gamble (March 2, 2016)



The Walls’ itinerant nature brings up an important point about homelessness. So I thought I would share some stories and statistics to give people a basis as to what homeless people in America face today. This would be extra credit reading as it were and won’t actually apply to our discussion of the book

Family Homeless Facts – Green Doors

Surveys Show Homeless Kids, Families On The Rise – Stephanie Dickrell

Hidden Homeless: Some Valley Families, Students Struggle – Marcia Moore

Supporting Teens and Families in Crisis – Nina Shapiro

Homeless and Hoarding – Leah Sottle

Bill Offers Day-Care Subsidies to Families With Homeless Kids – MacKenzie Riggs

In Baltimore Schools, Free Meals for All – Erica L. Green

Concentration of Public School Students Eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch – National Center for Education Statistics

That Homeless Man You Stepped Over Is My Dad – Abigail Haworth



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