The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History

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Chronicle Books, 2012 - History - 231 pages
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For almost a decade, a devastating combination of drought, wind, and poor farming practices turned millions of acres of the Great Plains into a wasteland. Ceaseless "black blizzards," turned night into day, killed crops and livestock, threatened the lives of small children, and buried homesteaders' hopes under huge dunes of dirt. The authors tell the story through private letters, newspaper accounts, and vivid interviews conducted with dozens of survivors -- the last living witnesses of the Dust Bowl, who provide scaring details of their families' ordeals. More than 300 archival photos, some from acclaimed photographers and some -- never before published -- from amateur locals, help bring this critical period to life, when the forces of greed, misinformation, and wishful thinking conspired to nearly sweep away the breadbasket of the nation. Here are stories of incredible hardship: More than 850 million tons of topsoil blew away in a single year; 14 million grasshoppers per square mile descended on parched fields; and one-quarter of the region's inhabitants packed up and left. But the Dust Bowl is also about the courage and resilience of those who remained to save their farms and their families. A larger narrative emerges: A morality tale about our relationship to the land, a study of the role and limits of government, and an affirmation of the human capacity for heroic perseverance through the crucible of drought, Depression, and dust.
 

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User Review  - zmagic69 - LibraryThing

This is a fascinating, heartbreaking book about America's worst man made catastrophe, and how we seem on course to repeat it. I did not see the series on PBS but the memories of those who lived ... Read full review

Contents

THE GREAT PLOW UP
23
Chapter
42
Chapter 3
65
Chapter
79
Chapter
93
Chapter
121
Chapter
153
Chapter
182
Chapter
205
Acknowledgments
218
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About the author (2012)

Dayton Duncan is an award-winning filmmaker and author of numerous bestsellers, including The National Parks: America's Best Idea. He lives in New Hampshire.

Ken Burns is an award-winning documentarian, whose previous projects include The Civil War and the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn Bridge. He lives in New Hampshire.

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