Friday, December 2, 2016

'Hillbilly Elegy' author J.D. Vance talks about the Donald Trump wave and his new Ohio project

Almost by accident, J.D. Vance became the truest pundit of 2016, the year when just about everyone else had Donald Trump all wrong.

Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" tells the story of his tough -- and often traumatic -- childhood in Middletown, Ohio, and Jackson, Kentucky.

The New York Times bestseller also supplies something that was missing from the media's coverage of Trump: An empathetic and thoughtful look at the white working-class communities that helped carry the Republican populist to the White House.

And now Vance, 32, is returning to Ohio to head a nonprofit organization that will seek solutions to the challenges facing the working-class. He has enlisted public affairs strategist Jai Chabria, the former top adviser to Gov. John Kasich, to help. The effort could be off the ground by the new year, though during an interview in Cleveland this week, Vance fussed over a tiny detail.

Read the full Q&A