The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

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Mariner/Houghton Mifflin, 2006 - History - 340 pages
93 Reviews
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.

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Clear, vibrant prose propels the narrative. - LibraryThing
I loved this book, and the writing is excellent. - LibraryThing
The verbal imagery is stunning. - LibraryThing
The text is also backed up by scholarly research notes. - LibraryThing
Fascinating photographs are sprinkled throughout. - LibraryThing
A very educational book to read. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - dulcinea14 - LibraryThing

This was so close to 4 stars for me. However, the first part of the book suffered from what I felt was an "organization" problem. Egan jumped around from person to historic comment to person so much ... Read full review

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User Review  - sammii507 - LibraryThing

I, of course, knew about the Dust Bowl from my knowledge of US history and my love of John Steinbeck. What I didn't know was that it was a manmade disaster. Fascinating book. Read full review

About the author (2006)

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.

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