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Author Urges Republicans to Defend Working Class

FILE – This March 13, 2008, shows AK Steel's Middletown Works plant in Middletown, Ohio. Author J.D. Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" provides a vivid tour of the stark world he grew up in, set mainly in Middletow

The best-selling author of "Hillbilly Elegy" says Republicans bear the responsibility of, in his words, "keeping the American dream alive."

J.D. Vance spoke Thursday at a Lincoln Day dinner of Mahoning County Republicans in Ohio near Youngstown.

The Vindicator newspaper reports Vance signed copies and shared stories from his book, which became a popular resource last year for pundits and politicians seeking insights into the white working class.

"Hillbilly Elegy" features colorful tales and observations from Vance's life in the Ohio Rust Belt city of Middletown and his familial home in rural eastern Kentucky.