Nancy Isenberg is T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University and the author, most recently, of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.
 (June 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

Left Behind

‘Three,’ 2013; photograph by Shelby Lee Adams from The Book of Life, a collection of his ­images of four generations of Appalachians, to be published by Steidl this summer

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J.D. Vance

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

by Elizabeth Catte
Americans have long celebrated their capacity for self-reinvention. Who they think they are (unique) is conceived (and reconceived) in popular memoir. American exceptionalism is a story of individual uplift writ large. Benjamin Franklin’s incomplete autobiography is considered the urtext of the American Dream. His downright cleverness, his ability to pinch …