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The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Author:Timothy Egan 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 r... more »ise 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.« less
Can't put down story of those who survived the American Dust Bowl years. Dramatic, heart-wrenching and haunting. Powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with nature. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
This is a very well written book about the horrific dusters, "snusters", and government scams. It tells, in many of the survivors's own words, how people's dreams were shattered by many droughts and gov't greed. The land they were given still held an indescribable "pull " for most, however, even though it had failed them.. The resilience of the human spirit is felt very keenly.
Susan (SG) - , reviewed The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl on + 25 more book reviews
The story Egan has to tell is fascinating, there's no doubt about it, and your heart breaks for the brave, hopeful, stubborn and desperate people who suffered through one of the worst ecological disasters of our country. But I'm surprised at how many of these reviews laud Egan as a great writer. He's really only a fair writer whose choppy, disorganized and sometimes hyperbolic writing style mars the narrative, and makes it difficult to figure out which of the countless people he seemingly randomly introduces will end up as the book's central cast of characters, and which will never be heard from again. I'm someone who rarely gives up on a book, but I quit reading this one before even reaching 100 pages. After that, I skipped around to find the "headlines" and read the epilogue, and that's it. A shame this fascinating and important story was not better told.
It was hard to read these first hand stories of life in the dust bowl and depression. Difficult to read, but rewarding as well, to know how strong the survivors were as a result. Should be required reading in school. I will read it again.