The best “Secret Santa” arrangements allow for careful whispers and WhatsApp messages to ensure that everyone gets what they want for Christmas.

One of my presents, ordered via a lovingly literary mother-in-law, was some holiday reading: JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for some time. First published in 2016, a few months before the US presidential election, in subsequent editions Hillbilly Elegy has been billed as essential reading for those who want to understand how Donald Trump came to power.

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