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

Average Rating 4.5
( 196 )
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5 Star

(113)

4 Star

(56)

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(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

I read every line !

This was a great historical book on the cause and effect of the Dust Bowl at the early 1900's. How millions of acres of grassland were destroyed and the effect on families and the nation, -about a time in our country we all hear about occasionally but rarely hear the wh...
This was a great historical book on the cause and effect of the Dust Bowl at the early 1900's. How millions of acres of grassland were destroyed and the effect on families and the nation, -about a time in our country we all hear about occasionally but rarely hear the why and how of it and how it devastated people. It was written so well i read every line.

As I read it - it could have been our times today. Banks closing down, people not aware of the consequences of what they were doing, poor government policies, the drive for more and more, the devastation to our ecological system,

The writer also reminds us we aren't done messing around - we are drawing down the biggest reserve we have - the Ogallala Aquifer - at a tremendous rate - this serves 30% of the irrigation water in the US. The cotton farmers in Texas are siphoning from the aquifer so they can dramatically increase their production of cotton, which no longer has an American market So these the cotton growers get three billion dollars a year in tax payer money for fiber that is shipped to China, where it is used to make cheap clothing that is sold back to American retail stores like Wal-Mart. At the current rate of water consumption the aquifer will dry up within 100 years, and in some parts of the US before then. As the writer says - we were founded as a nation of settlers and farmers and less than 1% of all jobs are in agriculture now.

It is a great book to remind us to pay attention to what is happening today before we lose something we can't replace.

posted by mamamia on July 25, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

Your map is wrong.

First, Follett and Darrouzett, Texas need to be reversed on your map of the 'Dust Bowl'. Second, 'No Man's Land' includes the entire Oklahoma Panhandle, not just the western portion as your book states. These oversights are just two of the many that plague Tim...
First, Follett and Darrouzett, Texas need to be reversed on your map of the 'Dust Bowl'. Second, 'No Man's Land' includes the entire Oklahoma Panhandle, not just the western portion as your book states. These oversights are just two of the many that plague Timothy Egan's new book, 'The Worst Hard Time'. The hyper, sensationalized, erratic, journalistic style of writing does not pay tribute to the historical subject matter at hand, as his title and thesis would suggest, but instead turns on 'those who survived the Great American Dust Bowl' and portrayes them as ignorant sheep, rapers of a fragile land and thieves, taking from those to whom Egan belives it clearly belongs, the Plains Indian. Egan writes that 'those who had broken the prarie grass, only to have it break them' were now left with only three ways to get food during the worst hard time. Soup lines in Boise City, roadkill or stealing. Soup lines in a town nearly void of humankind? Roadkill in a country void of vehicles? Stealing in a country where no one has anything to steal? Egan and those who herald this book should be ashamed of themselves. Egan clearly shows contempt for his subject and subject matter through out the pages of his book.

posted by Anonymous on January 27, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Finally done with it...

    I really had high hopes for this one after reading all of the great reviews. After all, it won a national book award, right? Well... I've just mercifully finished it and found it to be a little too dry and slow. I'm usually a lover of historical period books like these, but I thought this one was disappointing. I enjoyed reading about the effects of the dust at first, but just felt I kept reading about the same thing chapter after chapter. There never really seemed to be a pace to the book until the final 80 or so pages.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Copycat

    *he bashes the bot's head in*

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    Interesting

    Learned a few things I didn't know. Interesting. I don't know why they didn't relocate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Well.....

    it started out good, but seemed to go over and over and over the same things time and time again. I didn't even finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Aero

    She raises her head slightly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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