Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s / Edition 1

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Overview


In the mid 1930s, North America's Great Plains faced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in world history. Donald Worster's classic chronicle of the devastating years between 1929 and 1939 tells the story of the Dust Bowl in ecological as well as human terms.

Now, twenty-five years after his book helped to define the new field of environmental history, Worster shares his more recent thoughts on the subject of the land and how humans interact with it. In a new afterword, he links the Dust Bowl to current political, economic and ecological issues--including the American livestock industry's exploitation of the Great Plains, and the on-going problem of desertification, which has now become a global phenomenon. He reflects on the state of the plains today and the threat of a new dustbowl. He outlines some solutions that have been proposed, such as "the Buffalo Commons," where deer, antelope, bison and elk would once more roam freely, and suggests that we may yet witness a Great Plains where native flora and fauna flourish while applied ecologists show farmers how to raise food on land modeled after the natural prairies that once existed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An exciting, provocative, and stimulating study.... It has much to say to historians, environmentalists, and public policy makers."--American Historical Review

"A gracefully written and fascinating book."--History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195032123
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1979
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.44 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Worster is Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas and the author of A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 A darkling plain 9
1 The black blizzards roll in 10
2 If it rains 26
3 Okies and Exodusters 44
Pt. 2 Prelude to dust 65
4 What holds the earth together 66
5 Sodbusting 80
Pt. 3 Cimarron County, Oklahoma 99
6 Frontier in ruins 100
7 When the cattle ate tumbleweeds 108
8 Hard times in the Panhandle 118
Pt. 4 Haskell County, Kansas 139
9 Unsettled ground 140
10 The wheat farmer and the welfare state 148
11 A sense of place 164
Pt. 5 A new deal for the land 181
12 Facing up to limits 182
13 Learning from nature 198
14 Make two blades of grass grow 210
Epilogue : on a thin edge 231
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2002

    An Exciting Account of Ecological History

    Donald Worster writes history like a good novel. Filled with some accounts of tragic flaws humans made concerning their environment; Worster keeps your attention and keeps you interested until the end. You can feel the devastation as well as the hope that many Americans felt on the Great Plains. This book is used in many environmental classes around the United States. It contains many interesting facts that people do not generally know. If you liked Steinbeck's fictional 'Grapes of Wrath', more than likely you will love Donald Worster.

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