Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia
What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia | Elizabeth Catte
In 2016, headlines declared Appalachia ground zero for America's "forgotten tribe" of white working class voters. Journalists flocked to the region to extract sympathetic profiles of families devastated by poverty, abandoned by establishment politics, and eager to consume cheap campaign promises. What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia is a frank assessment of America's recent fascination with the people and problems of the region. The book analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians. The book offers a must-needed insider's perspective on the region.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
blurb
mrsmarch
post image
LibrarianRyan Ahhh Your poor foot. 3mo
mrsmarch @LibrarianRyan Whacked myself in the ankle with the car door a month ago and the pain just won't end. Not broken -- had an x-ray Tuesday night. But it hurts like a burning devil. The shoe helps a little. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly Ugh. I had a massive sprain over a month ago and I‘m still hobbling around like an old lady and wearing a brace. Getting old is not fun. 3mo
32 likes3 comments
review
bookwrm526
post image
Pickpick

I thought this book was an excellent, concise answer to many of the more controversial points about Appalachia from Hillbilly Elegy. If you‘ve read that one, I highly recommend this one as a follow up! This was also my book about Appalachia for #ReadingWomenChallenge

30 likes1 stack add
blurb
HeatherBlue
post image

Good morning! 🌞

CorinnaBechko Beautiful mug! 8mo
61 likes1 comment
blurb
SW-T
post image

The article below has a less myopic and biased view than both Vance and Catte.

@seanholeary1/hillbilly-whisperers-j-d-vance-elizabeth-catte-and-reality-in-appalachia-28c22a7d6897" rel="nofollow" target="_top">https://medium.com/@seanholeary1/hillbilly-whisperers-j-d-vance-elizabeth-catte-...

@MelissaSue81

wanderinglynn Having grown up relatively poor in Appalachia, I admit when I read Vance‘s book, I often got angry at his portrayal of the region & people. I had to keep reminding myself that his book was one person‘s experience. But I still felt that the way he wrote it, he was generalizing his experience to apply to all of Appalachia. I started reading the article, but will have to pull it up later on a bigger screen. Thanks for sharing. 9mo
SW-T @wanderinglynn I agree with you on Vance. On the flip side, Catte kind of did the same thing from a different angle. Everyone in a region isn‘t the same, though they might share certain concerns or values. Even impressions of shared experiences aren‘t the same. What energizes one person can scare or worry someone else. Some people become activists, others just wait it out. 9mo
megnews @wanderinglynn @SW-T I felt the same about Vance. Been wanting to get to Catte‘s. 9mo
See All 8 Comments
SW-T @megnews Catte‘s book is worth a read just to get a different point of view. Another book is 9mo
IamIamIam It's tough when a memoir tries to encompass all of a region. I find that when I read stories about NYC and Long Island, it's either all ultra rich people living uptown or the Hamptons or hipsters I don't identify with. LI suburbs are LIGHT YEARS from the Hamptons with an opioid crisis. I took Vanxe 9mo
IamIamIam D'oh... Vance's book at face value and tried to focus on the relationship he had with his mother and the migration from one state to another. 9mo
SW-T @IamIamIam Very true. It‘s just a small slice of someone‘s life and their spin on it, but people take it as gospel for everyone, which it‘s not. 9mo
Crazeedi I lived in this area when my children were young, their father worked in the coal mines. Not all of what he wrote is true across the region, but he did get some general things right 9mo
21 likes8 comments
review
SW-T
post image
Mehso-so

Catte says her book is a rebuttal of Hillbilly Elegy. While I had a laundry list of issues with Elegy, Catte doesn‘t present a great counter argument. She spends most of her time saying Vance was wrong, that she didn‘t like his book, and he misrepresented Appalachia. But she doesn‘t do much more than say Vance was incorrect and blames industry and politics for the problems facing the region. Her rebuttals fell flat and felt stale.

@MelissaSue81

quote
Scochrane26
post image

“While reading Greek poetry, my professors warned us to be careful of the double meaning of elegies; they were, it seems, often written as political propaganda.”
The author does talk about hillbilly elegy in this book, but I enjoyed the history lesson. I‘m aware of how corporations have tried to destroy Appalachia over the yrs but didn‘t know the details. Right now, Senator Rand Paul is trying to privatize part of preserved forest in eastern KY.

1 like1 stack add
review
MelissaSue81
post image
Mehso-so

Catte is an historian. Her historical knowledge and perspectives in this book are interesting and accurate at least in her view. However, her tone, and purpose writing this book, was to tell us all how pissed off she is about Hillbilly Elegy. I don‘t know that I‘ve ever read a book whose sole purpose it was to tell me how wrong another book/author is. To me, just because Catte is right, doesn‘t mean that Vance is wrong.

KathyWheeler Hillbilly Elegy seemed to make a lot of people angry, but I just figured he was writing from his own experience. Whenever I read sections of it to my husband, who is from Appalachia, Vance‘s experiences resonated with him as well; he wasn‘t insulted by the book. 9mo
MelissaSue81 @KathyWheeler - exactly. Vance‘s experience could very well be different from hers. His town might be different than where she is from.. She just came off as so angry with him.. But nonetheless, her historical background and arguments were solid. 9mo
See All 7 Comments
KathyWheeler @MelissaSue81 I think I‘m going to read this as well to get that perspective. I‘m also interested in my husband‘s take on this book. Thanks for posting about it; I was unaware of it. 9mo
SW-T I didn‘t like Vance‘s book for a lot of reasons so I‘m interested in this one to see how it compares. It makes me think of how Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With The Wind because she hated Uncle Tom‘s Cabin. Two very different perspectives about the same issue. 9mo
MelissaSue81 @SW-T - You very well may agree with a lot of what she has to say.. she isn‘t even wrong.. but she repeatedly attacked him; his claims, his background, his career and his politics.. it felt like a bit of a temper tantrum to me. 9mo
SW-T We‘ll see. It‘s possible to like opposing views if they‘re well presented. I like a well reasoned rebuttal but if it‘s just a temper tantrum I‘ve got too many other books to read. I have her book on hold so time will tell. 9mo
61 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
MelissaSue81
post image

I went back to find my review on Hillbilly Elegy after starting this audiobook.. My memory of Elegy was more of a personal story than characterizing the whole region, but I when I listened to it I had other thoughts. And well, this book definitely answers my question. 🤣🤣.

blurb
irasobrietate
post image

Ummmmm...... considering the author of What You're Getting Wrong spends a lot of time talking about how the myth of Scots-Irish homogeneity in Appalachia is used to further white supremacy and eugenics, this recommendation feels deeply wrong.

review
SimplyShelia
post image
Pickpick

Interesting and informative regarding our Appalachian roots and the ongoing struggle to drag our region forward. This book made me miss the area in which I grew up. I'm not that far away, being now in northeast Tennessee but miss southeastern Kentucky something fierce sometimes. The coal mines have been all but gone for years now, having taken most everything else with them. The corporate influence and continued greed is all too evident there.

blurb
saresmoore
post image

I‘ve just finished the introduction to this book and I am already bowled over. Sharp, candid, unapologetic writing. This is going to be so good. I‘m reading for @thereadingwomen challenge, but it would also be a great choice for #Booked2019, related to a podcast, since the aforementioned Reading Women interviewed the author, last year.

andrew61 I'll have to start listening to reading women again - i can't remember why i stopped. Looks a good read. 11mo
Suet624 I‘m glad you‘re reading this. Can‘t wait to hear more about it. 11mo
readordierachel This sounds like a timely read. Look forward to your thoughts. 11mo
ValerieAndBooks Looks intriguing!! 11mo
EchoLogical I read it for the same prompt! I got bored and let my loan expire. I'm gonna give it another shot when it's available. 11mo
90 likes3 stack adds5 comments
blurb
kyraleseberg
post image

It's little but it packs a huge punch 👊

32 likes2 stack adds
review
Aleida
post image
Pickpick

Very edifying. Would love to hear what she has to say about Educated.

16 likes1 stack add
review
RachelO
post image
Pickpick

This is quite tricky for me to review - coming from rural Britain, I wasn‘t the target audience, but I found it fascinating &, at times, shocking. Written as a response to post-2016 commentary on Appalachia, esp. Hillbilly Elegy, Catte looks at more diverse aspects of the region, the histories, stereotypes, & systemic issues which have impacted the area.

Followed up with the author discussion on @thereadingwomen podcast, which I recommend!👇

RachelO I don‘t recommend the audiobook (I found the narrator‘s intonation hard to follow). And were there images in the print? There‘s a lot of discussion of photos, I wondered if they were included.

#Booked2019 #relatedtoapodcast #readingwomenchallenge2019 #AboutOrSetInAppalachia
(edited) 12mo
4thhouseontheleft This sounds interesting! I read Hillbilly Elegy and didn‘t like it, maybe I‘ll try this for the same #readingwomen prompt. 12mo
RachelO @4thhouseontheleft It‘s quite a short read, but there‘s an awful lot in there - think it‘s worth reading! 12mo
See All 6 Comments
Tamra Sounds really like something I want to listen to. 12mo
megnews I didn‘t realize this was so short. I‘m going to move it up my list. I didn‘t care for hillbilly elegy. It over-generalized anecdotal evidence and there seemed to be some self-loathing or embarrassment at its core. My West Virginian family which relocated to Ohio had a very different experience. 12mo
Cinfhen Maybe I‘ll try this one too!! 12mo
75 likes5 stack adds6 comments
blurb
RachelO
post image

I‘m skipping #litsywalkers today, because it‘s ‘orrible out there! But here‘s my pic from yesterday - I got 1.5 miles in while it was dry/sunny/calm.

Also started another audiobook. This is really interesting, but (knowing virtually nothing about Appalachia) I might not be the target market. And the audio‘s just ok - she sounds like she‘s reading it. But I seem to be on a nf spree at the moment, so will definitely finish it.

Graywacke That‘s beautiful! 12mo
DivineDiana What a view! ❤️ 12mo
DarcysMom Great view! 12mo
See All 14 Comments
LeahBergen Wow! You have such a lovely walking neighbourhood. 😍 12mo
TrishB Was reading that they‘ve stopped the trains from stopping in Dawlish today due to the tides! 12mo
Kaye Thanks for sharing your photo and book. Sounds interesting 👍🏼 12mo
8little_paws I just finished this book on audio. I thought it was interesting but somewhat disjointed. I still am glad I listened to it though. 12mo
Wife 🌹 12mo
RachelO @Graywacke @DivineDiana @DarcysMom Not bad, is it (when the sun‘s shining!) I count myself v lucky! 12mo
RachelO @LeahBergen At some point, I‘ll start exploring other bits of it. But for the forseeable future, you might be getting the seafront, the seafront, the river and the seafront. (I‘m not bored of it yet 😉) 12mo
RachelO @TrishB 😫. Think it was just XC trains, tho, and they‘re out-of-action so often here it‘s almost normal. The doors don‘t open if they get saltwater in the mechanism. Which is a bit of a problem! So if there‘s a whisper of wind, they don‘t even attempt it at high tide now - and there‘s been more than a whisper today!! 12mo
RachelO @8little_paws I think it might be easier in print tbh- it is interesting though! 12mo
TrishB Hope you‘re ok today! Not sure how much snow you‘ve had! 12mo
RachelO @TrishB ❄️❄️❄️Thank you for asking! Bit icy, but not much snow here - it was flicking between snow and rain all night. Think it‘s a very different story if you try and get in/out of town 😬 12mo
75 likes1 stack add14 comments
review
Christine
post image
Pickpick

This is a must for those left cold (or simmering with rage) by Hillbilly Elegy. I thought it was a great response and a well-written, data-grounded, vital cultural analysis in its own right. And I loved how the author freely expressed her fierce love for her home region (despite its undeniable problems) and her anger about how it‘s been exploited and misrepresented over many decades (like by Vance, with his “asinine beliefs and associations”🔥).

BookishMarginalia Vance suffered from a very egocentric perspective, I thought... he theorized using only his experience as foundation, which made the book much weaker than it could have been 12mo
Christine @BookishMarginalia Agreed!! His generalizing was hard to take. 12mo
Blaire Yes to all of this!! Loved this book. Angered by elegy. Totally agree @BookishMarginalia he took his experience and drew conservative political policy positions from it. 12mo
See All 7 Comments
Christine @Blaire Yes! If it had just been presented/marketed as a memoir, it would be one thing... 12mo
Blaire @Christine yep!! It would have been a fine memoir. But was written with political motives and marketed as explaining a bigger societal issue. 12mo
FreeReadAndWrite My husband is from southeast Ohio and hates Hillbilly Elegy. I‘ll have to let him know about this one 12mo
Christine @FreeReadAndWrite Yes!! I‘d love to know what he thinks of it if he reads it. 12mo
63 likes5 stack adds7 comments
blurb
8little_paws
post image

Well below freezing yet I still walked like over an hour! #litsywalkers

Kaye 🛎 🛎 🛎. DING DING DING !!! Great job and COOL HOUSE ! 12mo
BookBabe Wow! Go you!!! 🙌🏻 That‘s a gorgeous house 😍 12mo
8little_paws @kaye @BookBabe I was SERIOUSLY bundled up. It wasn't so bad with the sun out but by the end of my walk as the sun began to set it was getting miserable. Might have to limit walks to daylight hours only for the next few weeks 12mo
See All 7 Comments
Soubhiville Wow! Very cool house! 12mo
Reviewsbylola Great job! And amazing house! 😍 12mo
DarcysMom You are a rock star for going out for an hour in that cold! 🤩 12mo
DivineDiana 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 12mo
92 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
8little_paws
post image

#litsywalkers going to be a low step day I think. I forgot my counter, but it's very cold out so I am doing a few laps inside my work building (which is large) so I can get a mile or 2 in at least. Gotta go to the gym tonight and the grocery store so won't have time to walk after work. It's been a busy week! Just started this new audiobook.

DarcysMom It looks pretty miserable out there. 12mo
8little_paws @DarcysMom it's really cold. 12mo
57 likes2 comments
blurb
saresmoore
post image

Here is a peek inside my TBR cabinet for the year. Many of the challenge books will be digital and/or public library borrows, but reading from my own, physical library is my favorite. Having everything catalogued on LibraryThing has made planning for five different challenges MUCH simpler!

Kalalalatja So many great books, and so many more I want to read 👌 12mo
TimSpalding I need to send you a little LibraryThing sign, so you don't need to Photoshop it in ;) 12mo
LauraBeth Such beautiful books here! 😍 12mo
See All 8 Comments
batsy 😍😍 12mo
Suzze Oooh. Homegoing! I have infinite love for it. 12mo
TobeyTheScavengerMonk A God in Ruins 👍 12mo
readordierachel Looks like excellent choices across the board! I'm seconding @suzze on the love for Homegoing. It's quite a book. 12mo
saresmoore @Suzze @readordierachel That‘s encouraging! I‘ve been meaning to read it for a long time and am looking forward to it. 12mo
93 likes8 comments
review
ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

Interesting, expertly researched counterweight to Hillbilly Elegy and “Trump Country” pieces stereotyping Appalachia and Appalachians as monolithic, white, and republican. Touches on union history, local activism, and environmental organizing in the face of “othering” by national and corporate interests.

blurb
plemmdog
post image

So far, an interesting viewpoint, and strong rebuttal to Hillbilly Elegy

7 likes1 stack add
review
LWagoner
post image
Pickpick

This book has helped round out my knowledge of the people of Appalachia & it has given me a more more wholistic view of the region. It is a rebuttal to the one person view represented in the book “Hillbilly Elegy”. There is so much information packed into 132 pages. Much still to think about. #opencanonbookclub #wileycash

10 likes2 stack adds
review
Blaire
post image
Pickpick

If you read Hillbilly Elegy, please read this. Elegy made me so angry and this was the antidote. Catte delves into why elegy is problematic, including Vance‘s agenda and the stereotypes he traffics in. Her Appalachia, the one I now live in, is more complete - in a concise volume includes labor, community organizing, environmentalism, and the history of exploitation. An important read for those who want a true picture of Appalachia.

readordierachel Oh, excellent #stacked 1y
VinceReads I just read this not too long ago and loved it. 1y
Leftcoastzen I have friends and family in that part of the world , I skipped the Vance because of the things you mentioned. #stacked 1y
See All 7 Comments
saresmoore This sounds great! It will work for a prompt in @thereadingwomen challenge next year. 1y
Blaire @VinceReads 🙌 it was a refreshing read and a much-needed response to Vance. 1y
Blaire @readordierachel @saresmoore she unpacks so much in only 135 pages. Def recommend. 1y
Blaire @Leftcoastzen 🙌 my book club discussed the Vance and general consensus was pissed off...using stereotyping to put forward his political viewpoint. Good decision to skip. 1y
58 likes11 stack adds7 comments
blurb
Erynecki
post image

Picked up this book about Appalachia from Union Ave Books, the lovely independent bookstore in Knoxville, TN.

review
Wellreadhead
post image
Pickpick
Laura317 Books about Appalachia either make me laugh, make me mad, or both. I think your blog post is extremely on-point. Great review. 1y
mreads Great review 1y
Wellreadhead @Laura317 @mreads Thanks guys, I appreciate that. It was definitely an interesting little book. 1y
94 likes3 comments
blurb
TuesdayReviews
post image

Surprise addition to today‘s #bookhaul. #hillbillystudies

blurb
Wellreadhead
post image
Awk_Word_Smith They‘re getting most of it wrong. Having lived in WNC for most of my life before moving to NYC 3 yrs ago, I can say they get most of it wrong. Starting with the pronunciation. 😁 1y
jillrhudy If you know the proper pronunciation you get a follow just for that 1y
Wellreadhead @Awk_Word_Smith @jillrhudy I‘m originally from Whitesburg, Ky and have lived for the past 4 years now in Chicago, IL so I get it now, lol and it‘s pronounced App-uh-LATCH-uh where I‘m from! 1y
See All 6 Comments
Samplergal Seriously. Pronouncing it correct first. 1y
Awk_Word_Smith @Wellreadhead @jillrhudy That‘s the way we say at my alma mater, App-uh-LATCH-an State. 😁 1y
105 likes3 stack adds6 comments
review
Schnoebs
post image
Pickpick

I‘m really happy I read this before Hillbilly Elegy. It‘s going to make me think more critically about that book. This one I really enjoyed though because it gave me a different perspective on the region while also not being afraid to explain exactly what‘s going on. The author is also willing to point out when things are too polarized on either side of the political field.

#scribd #audiobook #workout #exercisebook #huffletuff #mpls #twincities

28 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Schnoebs
post image

I originally had Hillbilly Elegy as one of my next workout books but scribd is doing that dumb thing making everything unavailable so I picked this up instead. So happy I did! Can‘t wait to continue listening!

#scribd #audiobook #workout #exercise #huffltuff #Appalachia #mpls #twincities

blurb
Karen
post image
12 likes1 stack add
review
Pedrocamacho
post image
Pickpick

Overall, this book is a powerful response to JD Vance. The material on the repeating narrative of Appalachia is the most interesting.

4 likes2 stack adds
blurb
SunriseBooks

This little book rocked my world. Required reading for anyone who‘s read Hillbilly Elegy.

3 likes1 stack add
blurb
anrobe
post image

Book haul from my local indie today! So excited! Added to my Olive Edition collection plus picked up 3 titles I have been eying!

Reviewsbylola Wow those are amazing! 2y
19 likes1 comment
blurb
Hoopiefoot
post image

I‘m the daughter of 2 former WV public school teachers. Reading this book this weekend in solidarity of all the teachers striking there this week.

KathyWheeler My sister-in-law is a teacher in WV. 2y
82 likes4 stack adds1 comment
review
colleeniebean
post image
Pickpick

Catte does an excellent job of making the history of Appalachia accessible here and tying this into present narratives about Appalachia. This is the book you should be reading about Appalachia not that ‘Hillbilly‘ one.