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The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Paperback – September 1, 2006
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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[A] vivid and gritty piece of forgotten history.
"The Worst Hard Time" provides a sobering, gripping account of a disaster whose wounds are still not fully healed today.
The Worst Hard Time is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction.
The Baltimore Sun
Egan has admirably captured a part of our American experience that should not be forgotten.
The San Francisco Chronicle
Egan is a passionate and accomplished writer...Read this for history, not inspiration or entertainment.
The Denver Post
Egan's account of the Dust Bowl era is a final, terrible rebuke to the policies of America's dying days of frontier expansion.
The Seattle Times
THE WORST HARD TIME is a flat-out masterpiece of historical reportage.
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I did watch the Dust Bowl miniseries first, and they do cover some of the same ground, though with different focuses, but I feel like you get more details from this book.
To be fair, it is rough. There are a few main people that you follow and they are constantly defeated by the land, dying broke, or physically broken, and any chances for renewal and success have to wait for the next generation. Even as things get better, there are indications that we are on the same path, not just in other places, but even right there with the demands on the Oglalla.
That's why it is so timely, and so important. Humans don't change much, and they will keep making the same mistakes over and over again unless information, and education, can change that.
Timothy Egan's dive into the Great Dust Bowl is superb. His precise, narrative writing does much to draw the reader in and make its real-life characters easier to relate to. He gives personalities to these people who refused to bow down to nature and for that they were punished, in a way. But punished not only by the land, but also by their own government. Egan details the slow spiral of the Great Plains from lush prairie land to desiccated, desolate hardpan without a hint of green. He compliments the personal narratives of these farmers with in-depth historical analysis of the towns and the governments working behind the scenes, while also providing a sort of biological analysis of the ecosystem and how it rapidly fell apart.