Buy New
Free Shipping for Prime Members
FREE Shipping
Get free shipping
Free 5-8 business-day shipping within the U.S. when you order $25 of eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon.
Or get 4-5 business-day shipping on this item for $5.99. (Prices may vary for AK and HI.)
Learn more about free shipping
on orders over $25—or get FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl has been added to your Cart

Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl


4.8 out of 5 stars 1,319 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Nov 20, 2012)
$9.60 $5.51
Watch Instantly with Per Episode Buy Season

Frequently bought together

  • Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl
  • +
  • Ken Burns: Prohibition
  • +
  • The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick DVD
Total price: $79.59
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Dust Bowl chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, when a frenzied wheat boom on the southern Plains, followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s, nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Menacing black blizzards killed farmers’ crops and livestock, threatened the lives of their children, and forced thousands of desperate families to pick up and move somewhere else. Vivid interviews with more than two dozen survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance.

The Dust Bowl, a four-hour, two-episode documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril.

Ken Burns gets to the heart of the matter once again with The Dust Bowl. Using his established formula of photos, film footage, music, and interviews (including some very affecting recollections by those who lived through it), the documentarian details one of the grimmest periods in our history--"an epic of human pain and suffering" that, though relatively recent, is little known to most, other than by way of some Woody Guthrie songs and perhaps John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. When Oklahoma earned its statehood in 1907, it was a land of clear skies, fertile land, and enough rain to enable farmers to grow amber waves of grain that stretched for millions of acres. But with lying real estate agents crowing about the land's inexhaustible sustainability, the government urging more and more homesteaders to relocate there, and pretty much everyone ignoring the fact that the last decade of the 19th century had seen terrible droughts throughout the region of the Panhandle and beyond, the land was plowed far beyond its capacity for planting (the first of the documentary's two parts is entitled "The Big Plow Up"). And when the Depression arrived and the rain disappeared, the result was the worst human-made environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, a decade-long disaster of genuinely biblical proportions that featured famine, pestilence (having killed off the coyote population, farmers were visited by a frightful plague of jackrabbits), disease, wind… and dust. For most of all, this is a story about dust--the "black blizzards" that blocked out the sun, carried away the topsoil, killed off livestock, seeped into people's homes, and found its way into their lungs, with deadly results. The photos and footage of the enormous, mile-high dust storms that blew across the plains--including the one that arrived on April 14, 1935, a day forever known as "Black Sunday"--are humbling and scary. At the same time, one gains a new appreciation for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who marshaled government forces to help out, and especially the people themselves, some of whom headed west to California but many of whom stayed on to try to rebuild their lives. Kudos to Burns and his colleagues, including writer Dayton Duncan, for illuminating another quintessentially American story. --Sam Graham

Special features

Grab a Root and Growl
A Land of Haze After the Dust Bowl
Behind the Scenes Uncovering The Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl - Eyewitnesses
The Dust Bowl - Legacy


Subtitles (SDH) in English
Descriptive Video for the Visually Impaired in English (DVI)
Subtitles (SDH) in Spanish
Spanish Audio Track

Product details

  • Actors: Ken Burns
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,319 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B007VYEF04
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,050 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • Learn more about "Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Read reviews that mention

Top customer reviews

December 21, 2012
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
Comment| 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
November 16, 2017
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
December 3, 2016
Format: Amazon Video|Verified Purchase
Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
December 11, 2016
Format: Amazon Video|Verified Purchase
Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
November 22, 2015
Format: Amazon Video|Verified Purchase
Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

Pages with related products. See and discover other items: ken burns