Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

Overview

An exquisite memoir of growing up dirt poor in Oklahoma. “Love of the land is not located so much in the mind, or in the heart, as in the skin: how the skin feels when you go back.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Red Dirt. When the peasants are deprived of fields to work, so goes the chorus of an old Irish ballad, “All that’s left is a love of the land.” In this exquisite rendering of her childhood in rural Oklahoma, from the Dust Bowl days to the end of the Eisenhower era, writer and journalist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz bears...
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Overview

An exquisite memoir of growing up dirt poor in Oklahoma. “Love of the land is not located so much in the mind, or in the heart, as in the skin: how the skin feels when you go back.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Red Dirt. When the peasants are deprived of fields to work, so goes the chorus of an old Irish ballad, “All that’s left is a love of the land.” In this exquisite rendering of her childhood in rural Oklahoma, from the Dust Bowl days to the end of the Eisenhower era, writer and journalist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz bears witness to a family and community that still clings to the dream of America as a republic of landowners. Drawing deeply on the stories, often biblical parables, she heard in her early years, Dunbar-Ortiz brings to life one of the least understood groups in US history: poor rural whites. They are the backbone of the national campaigns against abortion and for prayer in school. They are also the soldiers of the militia movement and the members of a group who will come to trial this spring for the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Red Dirt takes us into the minds of these people, allowing us to feel both their grievous sense of loss and their battered but still-clung-to faith.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859848562
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 6/17/1997
  • Series: Haymarket Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.86 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2006

    Fascinating Story

    This was a truly fascinating book, since it dealt with an era in Oklahoma relatively unknown to the rest of the country and that has previously been absent from American history. The author grew up amongst Oklahoma Socialists, whose poverty and desperation pushed them into embracing Socialism as an alternative to the lives they were living. If you like stories about revolutions you'll love this one, and the author is a really terrific, likable narrator, so you'll be rooting for her all the way through. By all means, read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    Outstanding

    This book is riveting. It was difficult to put down. The author gives a clear and haunting description of her life as well as what it was like to grow up an 'Okie.' I would recommend this book to anyone.

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