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The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Egan, Timothy

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ISBN: 0618773479     ISBN-13: 9780618773473
Publisher: Mariner Books
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 2006

Annotation: Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones in the darkest years of the Depression.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dust Bowl Era, 1931-1939.
Droughts; Great Plains; History; 20th century.
Dust storms; Great Plains; History; 20th century.
BISAC Categories:
- History | United States | 20th Century
- History | United States | State & Local
Dewey: 978/.032
LCCN: bl2006023728
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.75" W x 0.75" (0.80 lbs) 340 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years
of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.
Timothy Egan's critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter
of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical
reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through
the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to
carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the
death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe,
Egan does equal justice to the human characters who become
his heroes, "the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he
opens up with urgency and respect" (New York Times).
In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst
Hard Time is "arguably the best nonfiction book yet" (Austin Statesman
Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited
upon our land and a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of
trifling with nature.

Contributor Bio(s):
TIMOTHY EGAN is a national enterprise reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of five books and the recipient of several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2005 November #4)

Egan tells an extraordinary tale in this visceral account of how America's great, grassy plains turned to dust, and how the ferocious plains winds stirred up an endless series of "black blizzards" that were like a biblical plague: "Dust clouds boiled up, ten thousand feet or more in the sky, and rolled like moving mountains" in what became known as the Dust Bowl. But the plague was man-made, as Egan shows: the plains weren't suited to farming, and plowing up the grass to plant wheat, along with a confluence of economic disaster--the Depression--and natural disaster--eight years of drought--resulted in an ecological and human catastrophe that Egan details with stunning specificity. He grounds his tale in portraits of the people who settled the plains: hardy Americans and immigrants desperate for a piece of land to call their own and lured by the lies of promoters who said the ground was arable. Egan's interviews with survivors produce tales of courage and suffering: Hazel Lucas, for instance, dared to give birth in the midst of the blight only to see her baby die of "dust pneumonia" when her lungs clogged with the airborne dirt. With characters who seem to have sprung from a novel by Sinclair Lewis or Steinbeck, and Egan's powerful writing, this account will long remain in readers' minds. (Dec. 14)

[Page 42]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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